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Rockabye: From Wild to Child Paperback – April 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580052320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580052320
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


In Rebecca Woolf's new book Rockabye: From Wild to Child, she offers a truly unique perspective on motherhood, after finding herself single and unexpectedly pregnant at age 23. Her rebellious story attacks those old stereotypes about maternal instincts as she admits that motherhood is masochism at its finest. Leader of a new generation of Do-It-Yourself moms, Woolf advocates living by your own rules (and eschewing the advice of parenting manuals) in order to raise fiercely independent children. Her simple tale of getting knocked up will knock your socks off. -- Z!nk Magazine

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Customer Reviews

When I read that, I started crying.
I hadn't read Rebecca Woolf's blog before I read this book.
Rita Arens
I was very excited to finally read her book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Rummel-Hudson on April 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I bought Rebecca Woolf's "Rockabye: From Wild to Child", I was sold a misleading bill of goods. Like Neal Pollack's "Alternadad", Woolf's memoir was marketed as the story of a party-all-nighter's quest to transition to parenthood without losing her innate coolness. And like Pollack's memoir, "Rockabye" turned out to be so much more. It's a heartfelt exploration of a new parent's discovery of her heart and soul, awakened by the birth of her child, and how, in finding her own way to be that son's very best parent, she finds her true self. Woolf writes with unblinking honesty and a stunning gift for language. I've never been so happy to find that a book I'm reading is not the book I thought it was going to be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bethanie D. Pointer on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a loyal reader of Rebecca Woolf's since back in the days of the Pointy Toe Shoe Factory. This has been a journey that many of us have been riding in the Rebecca's VW carseat on the information superhighway for many years.
I think that there are many of us who have followed along through emotional last few years of her life feeling a bit voyeuristic. Other times I have felt like a passenger, a welcome one, as the dialogue she opens in her blog becomes so much about the reader, not the author.
Blogging about your life is so intimate for both the writer and the reader. It is impossible to not grow attached in this one way relationship. It is very similar for a memoir to feel this way.
I loved this book. So many moments of tears and laughter. Rebecca has an easy voice that is so welcoming. It reads very similarly to her blogs. Those blogs that have kept me checking in on regular day to day basis.
Some friends and I, who are loyal to Woolf's blogs, were worried that it would be too familiar; or worse, just verbatim from the blogosphere. I was relieved to say that isn't so.
For example, coming across the chapter "Things that are relative," It was from a completely different vantage point than when I first read about that time in her life. After reading the chapter, not in tears, but with a wide smile. I was taken back to the night when I sat alone in my office and read about Rebecca's Uncle Pete for the first time. It was dark. Everyone had gone home for the day. I sat there with tears streaming down my face and the blue light from my screen glistening on my face. It gradually grew to full on sobbing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Fershleiser on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a longtime fan of Rebecca Woolf and her blogs: she has a unique perspective, a clever writing style, and doesn't hold anything back. This book is just as I'd imagined it could be--she never gets formal or pretentious just because her medium has changed. Her independent spirit and undeniable writing skill shine through whether she's talking about diapers or sex, marriage or rock shows.

Whether or not you're interested in parenting (after all, she wasn't when the journey started) this is just a propulsive read about life, love, and what it's like to be young and faced with something unexpected. Cliched but true: you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll think. Heartfelt but subversive, this book is like sitting down with a great friend whose world has been turned upside down, dropping your guard, and letting it all hang out. Tuck it in your duck-print diaper bag or your Prada clutch. You'll be so glad you did...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on April 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
On her son Archer's first birthday, Rebecca Woolf writes him a letter that says, in part, "Thank you for choosing me to mother you." That sentence encapsulates so much of what this book is about, from Woolf's childhood as a misfit in Southern California, to becoming a mom and winding up back in the land she simultaneously loves and hates. From her unexpected pregnancy at age 23 to dealing with her son's delayed speech and the nonstop barrage of advice she's given, Woolf dissects her life pre- and post-baby, showing the through lines between each and how she is passing on her own naturally rebellious, independent nature to her son.

She laughs at herself when she finds herself wearing a pashmina while at a concert ("I might as well have tattooed MOM on my forehead"), and struggles to find herself, and her place in her family, both the one she's created and the one she grew up in, as well as in her friendship circles. Her relationship with her own mother changes, and in one of her most moving chapters, where she veers from calling her mother a "----ing b--ch!" to having a heart-to-heart with her and coming to understand her better.

She writes that "Maybe Archer will be the glue that holds us together, because sometimes love isn't enough," detailing her uncertainty about the permanence of her marriage but her faith that this young family she has created will survive. I'm not a mom (yet), so I can't speak to the accuracy or not of the motherhood experiences Woolf describes, but I can say that whether you've read her blog or not, you will find here an unflinching, sometimes funny, sometimes dark, always searching look at Woolf's life as it transforms and grows along with her child.
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