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Rockabye: From Wild to Child

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  631 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Rockabye is the lively memoir of a spontaneous young city-girl who becomes unexpectedly pregnant. That city-girl is Rebecca Woolf, who at 23, after the "holy shit, I'm pregnant" realization, decides to keep the baby, marry the boyfriend (in Vegas no less), and figure out how to wed her rock n' roll lifestyle and impending motherhood.

With humor, honesty, and renegade insigh
Paperback, 283 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Seal Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 s ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blogger, 2011
In this fumbling, fish-out-of-water memoir, Rebecca Woolf, a self-proclaimed "party girl" leading a "rock and roll lifestyle" finds herself shockingly! pregnant! with her boyfriend of only a few months at the actually-not-that-young age of 23. I read Rebecca's blog and I like it, mostly, so I disregarded my previous experiences (wherein I dislike books written by bloggers very nearly 100% of the time) and picked it up. This book is really earnest and some people might relate strongly to it. I me ...more
Mary Louise
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
How can I adequately describe this original, talented writer, or her impressive first memoir? The only possible comparison is that Rebecca Woolf is the Chrissie Hynde of narrative nonfiction. (And no woman--to date--plays the guitar better or loves her child as much as Chrissie does. Remember the songs, "My Baby" or "Show Me"??) Woolf wields a mighty pen, and I suspect that she will be a force to contend with in the future, having a long and fruitful career as a writer. I mean, HOLYSHIT, this is ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
If you were the type of person to judge a book by it's cover (as I often do), you would at first glance think this book is about a wild young woman who becomes a mother. It is. But it's so much more. It's not just for young mothers (expected or unexpected)--it's for older mothers, for never-been mothers, for fathers, for architects, for lawyers, for fast food workers, for ANYONE. Rebecca Woolf's writing lures you in immediately and doesn't cease the whole way through. She's honest, sometimes bru ...more
Joanne Bamberger
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is not just another memoir of motherhood. Rebecca Woolf is an amazing writer who weaves her story of unexpected motherhood with a journey of self-discovery and reflection. What makes us the mothers and the women we are? Rebecca's book is powerful and genuine and you must not miss this one!
Liz Heit
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: girlfriends
If you are a mom, or just a girl that might someday want to be a mom.. or just a girl having the time of her life in her 20s.. you'll want to read Becca's memoir. Truly, you'll feel like you know her with the way this book is so easy to read. It is both comical in the way she says things that everyone thinks but never says.. as much as it is emotionally heart-wrenching in the way you can feel her embarassment, pain, and joy through her candid writing.
Oct 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Wow. I am the first to write a review of this book on, really?
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 a lot of us who have followed along through the emotional last few years of her life feeling a bit voyeuristic. Other times I have felt like a passenger, a welcome one
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: moms, anyone unsure of becoming a mom
I read the author's blog and was excited to read the book. I needed a break from the "heavy" (ahem, somewhat boring) reading I've been doing and this was just the thing! I haven't finished a book so quickly in...I don't know how long! I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep (I read at bedtime) and still managed to finish it in near-record time. It's a great memoir of a young mother, struggling with identity and motherhood. While I couldn't relate to the unplanned aspect of the pregn ...more
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Interesting, blog-like dispatch from the front lines of accidental young motherhood. As the former mother of a tiny wunderkind, I can safely say that the landscape looks much as I remember it. Suffers a bit, I think, from the author's belief in her terminal uniqueness. Yes, yes, we get it, you are not a suburban soccer mom and your child is special. I may be too old and cranky to read mommy memoirs, or perhaps having a surly adolescent makes looking backwards too much at the moment. Either way, ...more
Joanna Vaught
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
if i had to choose a moment from this book that i think sums up how incredibly underwhelmed i was by both its message and her writing style, i'd say it was the chapter where she repeats her grandmother's godawful advice, "let the baby adapt to you," over and over again like a mantra.

also: we get it. you want your vagina to remain tight after giving birth. you can say that once. you don't need to bring it up every twenty pages or so like a nauseating leitmotif.
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An amazing recollection of an unplanned pregnancy. Rebecca tells her story with Technicolor description and takes you along for the ups and downs of pregnancy, parenthood and marriage. Her honesty is raw and vivid. A should read for anyone who has been faced with an unexpected pregnancy and ended up with an unexpected life.
Liz Cushnie
Jan 23, 2008 marked it as to-read
REALLY looking forward to this one....
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mothers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning reading the first half of this book. I love it. She makes unplanned motherhood at age 23 sound like exactly the right way to have a baby. Early in her pregnancy she finds she is neither fish nor fowl: no longer able or interested in partying with her free-spirited friends, nothing in common with the new moms ten-plus years her senior.

I envy her. Because she has no natural clique that she feels any need to conform to, she does pregnancy, birth and new mother
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new moms
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It's very quick and easy read and I definitely didn't want to put it down. It's a memoir about a 23-yr old party girl who finds herself pregnant. She marries the father and has the child. Basically shows her transformation to motherhood in a pretty poignant way. I really liked that she refused to give up certain elements of her 'wild' life (like going out to hear live music). Of course she quite smoking and partying, but she wasn't willing to give up her entire i ...more
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am addicted to the Girl's Gone Child blog. Not only does she have one of the cutest kids ever, Rebecca Woolf writes with a passion and a clarity of thought on a number of issues related to parenting, motherhood, sexuality, and life itself. Her book was good, but left me wanting more. While I don't agree on everything she has to say re: parenting, nor do I relate to all of her issues (she is ten years younger than me and many of her preoccupations are of a twenty-something woman, not that there ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Rebecca Woolf's blog. She's a interesting person and talented writer and I really enjoyed reading her book. It's a treat knowing that I get to keep following her story after finishing her book. She's got a gift for description and at times her honesty brought tears to my eyes.
i really did not care for this book, & i really wish i would have written up my review of it back when i first read it. because i have read like 75 books since this one & the details of exactly why i hated it have gone missing. but i will say that i was really excited to read this book. it was on display at my local library for mother's day, i had just found out i was pregnant, &, you know, i'm all anarchist-y & tattooed & punk rock. i have read A LOT of mommy memoirs (appare ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Can I give this 3 1/2 stars?

This memoir is funny and true with just enough bite to keep it lively. I've followed Rebecca Woolf on various blogs and Twitter, and of all the mommy bloggers out there, she is probably the most sane and likable. And with her Zooey Deschanel hair, fun artistic streak, and indie spirit, you know she's cooler than me, you, and everyone we know.

Her story is a good one--as a 23-year-old Hollywood wild child, she finds herself pregnant. And she does what any 23-year-old
May 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm about half way through so my three stars may not be accurate. I really enjoy the writing, but it isn't quite what I expected. It seems that the main character made the transition from wild to child pretty easily. There isn't TOO much about it being hard to be pregnant. It is mostly positive. As a person who suffered severe postpartum, I was interested in reading more of how to deal with the hard stuff. I don't fault her for having a wonderful experience and some of the passages totally hit h ...more
Dec 04, 2008 added it
Recommended to Laurie by: Melody
"Embracing my unplanned motherhood" seems to be a new mini-genre in parenting memoirs.

I enjoyed reading about Woolf becoming a family with her new husband and newborn son, both unexpected. It was nice to read that she has a healthy, positive, supportive relationship with her original family (parents, cousins, etc.) and I would have liked reading more about her own mother. Her message that you can be a good parent without sacrificing your own life--that, in fact, you can't be a good parent if you
Sonja Alves
Jan 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was less than impressed with this book. I tend to be a fan of the mommy blogging group and enjoy reading their trials and tribulations with their kiddos. However, this seemed like a self-indulgent way to gain validity, but at what, I don't know.

The author is constantly trying to prove that she's this cool chick that has had her life thrown off course by having a baby. No matter how many times she's talks about her love for her child and how she's happy now that he's here, the underlying messa
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Hmm. I agree with the other reviewers who noted that this book reads like a blog. Which, of course, makes sense given the author's popularity as a blogger. I guess when it comes to an entire book, reading like a blog is not necessarily a good thing. My reactions to the observations and writing style were uneven. At times I really related to her experiences (despite not being a mother myself) and times when the style (and/or content) grated. Oddly the tone was sometimes sort of sanctimonious, des ...more
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book started out promisingly enough that I paid to download it onto my Kindle after reading the free sample, but it did not fulfill. The writer makes a big deal out of her skills as a writer, but most of her writing feels like it's just trying too hard. Every chapter seems to end in some sort of life epiphany illustrated by a half-page metaphor (complete with overdone explanation); some of them don't even make sense and actually NEED the explanation. She also spends a lot of time carrying o ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
I faithfully follow Rebecca's blog, Girl's Gone Child, and I really enjoy her blogging style (which is why I picked up her book in the first place). One of the frequent complaints I here about her memoir is that it reads just like her blog. But that's actually what I liked about it. Her raw take on being a young mama resonates with me in a lot of ways and I would have been disappointed if the book didn't read much like her blog. It is a memoir, after all. As far as content goes, I liked watching ...more
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, parenting
More sass! More candor! More juiciness!

Most of this memoir just felt lifeless. Woolf tells us that there was personal and marital conflict, but I had no sense of that while reading. She lists tons of reasons why she shouldn't have a kid, but why did she, personally, decide to do it? Where's an honest exploration of what motivates a twenty-two year-old "rocker chick" to have a kid with her boyfriend of a few months? Did she really get married to avoid conflict with her boyfriend's family? How di
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
It's entirely possible that this book resonated with me so much because I read it during my own first few frantic, fevered months as a parent, so as always, your mileage may vary. That said, it's not perfect, and if Rebecca Woolf the blogger/brand/institution pisses you off, chances are, the book will, too. The writing is almost overwhelmingly emotional at times, and hovers very near the edge of having too little ironic distance for its own good, and there are times when you cringe for the idea ...more
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
This book is about a woman's journey to maintain her own identity while embracing a new identity as a mother. This book is sincere and insightful.

"No. That is not the world we live in. That is how we are told we must live in order to get by, and unfortunately, no one wants to speak up anymore. Is it possible that that "no child left behind" is just a gentler way of saying that no child will have the freedom to wander away? I stop laughing. 'Actually, no. Conformity is not the only way to succeed
Apr 20, 2009 rated it liked it
As much as I dig memior, particulalry of the birth/parenting genre, Woolf's was not as edifying as I expected it to be. It's a bit marked by the author's age at the time of her son's birth (23). At the same time, I give her props for her honesty in how choosing to have a child affected her life, work, and relationships - the good and the ugly. It's also so clear from her writing how much she loves her son. Since reading this book, I've begun following her blogs Girl's Gone Child and Straight fro ...more
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Rebecca Woolf authors the popular parenting blogs, and’s Straight From the Bottle. Her first book, Rockabye: A Young Mom's Journey From Wild to Child was released April, 2008. She is currently at work on a novel, screenplay and a human child due in October.
More about Rebecca Woolf...