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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2014
An honest book, but really, what's all the fuss about? If people aren't saying this, what are they deluding themselves with? I did expect a much more problematic portrayal of parenting, instead it just narrates what I observe and hear from all my friends. I guess if you're open to talking about the grim reality of parenting you won't get much from this, but if you don't have access to honest conversation with other parents then this book must be a godsend. Given this is one of the most universally shared experiences it's odd there aren't a plethora of books in this vein, but the author reveals why.
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on 24 January 2014
I bought this as I was writing an assignment on attachment theory. The book was well written and interesting in terms of describing infant development and the impact of initial relationships as seen in this book from the mother's perspective. Even if you weren't writing an essay would probably still find it a useful read as it highlights how bewildering having a baby can be!
Condition of book was good and arrived promptly.
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on 26 February 2012
This book threw me a life-line when I was suffering with post-natal depression. It was the first and only true voice I heard about what it felt like to be a mother. I read much of it in tears - of relief that someone else had felt like that and gratitude that she had written about it. There's so much mythology and so many lies about motherhood, so much posturing - the honesty of this beautifully written memoir cuts through all that and meant a great deal to me.
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on 17 July 2015
As a mother of 3 I can relate to the author's feelings, especially if I remember back to my first child. There are some wonderful descriptions of motherhood and the changes that it inflicts on the modern woman. I felt that the author expressed perfectly many (although not all) of the feelings I had in the first year. At one point the author refers to the feeling that as a mother you are not fully yourself when you are with the baby but when you leave you feel that you are missing something of yourself. Your entire identity and self image is thrown into disarray. So true. But the impact of these and many other realisations is far more violent and dramatic for the author than it was for me. Also she dwells on the negative and devotes very little of the book to the positive, wonderful side of motherhood. I feel sorry for her, especially when she mentions her saddness for the passing of the time when the baby was tiny and dependant, the very moments that caused the author such turmoil. I enjoyed the book but advise you not read it until after your children are past the baby stage. Otherwise you will either not believe it or it will terrify you into never having children!
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on 29 March 2008
I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, having heard of Cusk's work - and the resultant criticisms. I was hoping for a voice which I could relate to as a mum, and the ambivalence of my feelings towards motherhood.

This book made me laugh, not only out loud, but with tears rolling down my face. I got my identification. I would especially recommend it for a mum to be, or someone with little kids/babies - if they can find the time to read it.
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on 30 December 2011
I only got round to reading this close to my son's second birthday because he was so poorly and slept badly until he was around a year old and then pretty patchily after that. I wish I had been able to read it during that first year because I also felt so guilty that I was far from feeling 'blissed out'. Thanks for speaking out so honestly.
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on 18 June 2008
As a new mother I didn't have time to read anything in the early months of my son's life, but my husband bought me this book for Mother's Day and from the first page I couldn't stop reading. I had no idea there was any controversy over the book until reading the description just now on Amazon. I thought it was one of the most literary and beautifully real expressions of how, at least I, was feeling in those first months as a first-time mother. Reading this book was like talking to a good friend. I am also glad to have discovered such a wonderful writer and look forward to reading more of her books now that I have more time.
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on 28 May 2008
I read loads of books when coming to terms with the life changing event of having my first child. This was definitely the best and the only one to capture the deep, complex and conflicting emotions of this journey. And be bloody funny too. Excellent.
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on 7 July 2011
This is a beautifully written account of the question of identity and motherhood. Cusk brings to life so many of my experiences, from the puzzling breastfeeding advice centres at hospital to then emotions surrounding a baby sleeping. I am so glad that I found this half way through a difficult third pregnancy; it has grounded me. Thank you, Rachel Cusk.
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on 16 August 2013
My dad bought me this at the Edinburgh book festival (how nice!) and I only finished it because it was a gift. She has been very honest about her own (dreadful) experience but this is so far removed from my own feelings about my 15 month old's early days that I couldn't relate to it all. Sadly I think there must have been a level of PND, she was very isolated and then, I felt, snobbish when she did seek company. I'm glad I didn't read when I was pregnant. I can see it appealing to other mums who had a bleak time initially, but I didn't enjoy it, it reads more like an essay or dissertation than a novel and I was glad to finish it. Sorry Dad, thanks for the thought!
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