Novels about motherhood: a work in progress

When my daughter was around six months old, I’d peer out of her nursery window and see a neighbour reclining in a hammock with her newborn. The infant was always asleep, the mother forever reading. No frantic nocturnal skimming of mummy blogs for her (do yourself a favour: never ask the internet when your baby might start sleeping through the night), she was deep into thick paperbacks of the kind whose pages are generally destined to become marbled with sunscreen and margaritas.

I don’t know about you, but most of the books I read that first year were board books. Things are a little different now, though I think motherhood has changed me as a reader. For starters, I’m too busy to indulge a novel that’s less than gripping. I’m also more keenly attuned to descriptions of what it is to be a mother. I wanted to keep a record of some of the best that I come across in case a line or two chimes with others, too. And so that’s what this is: a wildly incomplete bibliography of guidebooks to accompany you on this wonderful, wonder-filled, adventure.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy – this one is actually a memoir, albeit by a novelist

Sight by Jessie Greengrass


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