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A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother Paperback – March 1, 2003
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I was not disappointed--Rachel tells it like it is. She talks about all the difficult and ambivalent feelings of becoming a mother that most of us have kept to ourselves.
The regret and the irrationality, the pride and protectiveness, the "out of body" experience that nobody can prepare you for--Rachel describes it all. With a great sense of humor and humanity, this book helped me make sense of my own experience of new motherhood.
Cusk's account is a quick read, her prose very often elegant. She hits a number of nails squarely on the head--in her descriptions of the constant demands made on breastfeeding mothers, for example, or the drama and tension inherent in bringing a baby out into the public, or one's cautious anticipation of freedom when it looks like the kid may finally sleep.Read more ›
Her voice is one that is not heard in books about motherhood. My thougths echoed in her words.
Pregnancy and motherhood has been humbling, humiliating and exhausting. I love my daughter but I never could have anticipated the emotional journey I was embarking on.
Rachel Cusk does not put a pretty pink wash on everything. It is a clean true voice.
I recommend this book to any woman trying to find where she has gotten lost in her life.
A quote: "When I care for my daughter I revisit my own vulnerability, my primordial helplessness. I witness that which I cannot personally remember, my early existence in this white state, this world of milk and shadows and nothingness."
There was way too much of this type of language in my opinion. I'd like to compare this book to the Mother Knot by Jane Lazarre, another book which outlines the complexity of motherhood--both the light side and the dark side. Jane is an intellectual also, and she can write in a poetic fashion too. But most of the time she writes in plain, simple language, telling us of the sameness of her days with her young son and highlighting both the highs and the lows she experiences.
Cusk does write simply sometimes, and many of her descriptions of her frustrations will resonate with many mothers. There is one particular story which I'll always remember which I never thought that I'd see in a book--it matched my experience so perfectly. She'd put her daughter to bed, deciding to let her cry herself to sleep (something many of us decide to do after being pushed around by an infant tyrant for a while!). The crying stops and she goes to check on her, only to find the child in a sitting position with her hands on the bars of the crib, fast asleep, with her cry face frozen in place--as though her jailer had abandoned the child to her misery. This is exactly what happened to me once when my daughter was in the second half of her first year of life. And we both had the same reaction.Read more ›
This book is filled with the humor and imagery of the foolish and sometimes insufferable aspects of mother hood which I find a huge relief. In Cusk's voice I hear the sense of being a stranger in a strange land and I can totally identify. I have two daughters and found her voice to be my own (if I could write brillaintly, that is.)
Whether describing her c-section or her reaction to the ever-popular mother's group, I found myself agreeing and at times laughing out loud. I read passages to my husband stating, "See, this is exactly how I feel."
When I read some of the negative reviews, I think they may misunderstand her writing. If becoming a mother knocked your sense of self out the window and you recognize that there is ambivalence and humor in all aspects of the journey for you AND your child, then you will find gain something from reading this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely adored this book. Like all of Rachel Cusk's books: lucid and very sensitive. The novelist describes in poetic but not flowery, laser sharp prose, what she thought and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah Parsons
A truly honest view of what it's like to end up having a Ceasarian when you've been told that pregnancy is a lark. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Suzanne
At first seeming like a complete downer, I almost gave up because I had just come out on the other side of an emergency c-section and just wanted to read something encouraging. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jessica
She voiced many thought I had myself when I was pregnant & having kids. Good book.Published 14 months ago by Passionforlife
Great read to give a mother-to-be an idea of the near future. Not a self-help or guidance book, but well written. Read morePublished 17 months ago by MirteMaartje
A very funny look at early motherhood from a professional woman's viewpoint; puts to words a lot of my feelings in a humorous way. I've given to several of my friends.Published on May 16, 2014 by CLT
A very well researched and heartbreakingly honest book about the author's first experience of motherhood. Not an easy read particularly, but will strike a chord with many new moms.Published on December 4, 2012 by vanessa patricia lancaster
From what I gathered in the details Cusk gave about writing this book, she uprooted her entire family specifically to write this book. Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Shawna Ross