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Body Full of Stars: Female Rage and My Passage into Motherhood

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  54 reviews
"This book is an ancient call from our first mothers to connect to our bodies―for our own good and for the good of humanity . . . It is healing, illuminated." ―Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...

What if labor does not end with pregnancy but continues into a mother's postpartum life? How can the fiercest love for your
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 16th 2018
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Janelle Janson
BODY FULL OF STARS by Molly Caro May - Thank you so much to Counterpoint Press for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

I found this book an extremely personal, necessary, and important work that all women should read. I am not a mother but I was still able to identify and empathize with much of what was written. I have very close friends who are moms that have struggled in similar ways. Although I am not a mom, and even though I can’t possibly understand everything, the contents of
Ramona Mead
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a tough review for me. Based on my reading experience, I would say 4 stars. I bumped it up to 5 because this is an extraordinary work of memoir. The author's honesty and vulnerability is incredible, and when I think about the fact that that her husband and family support her 100% and didn't try to sensor a word in this book, it blows my mind.

This is an important book, and it's striking up crucial conversations for women. As a woman who has chosen not to become a mother, there were parts
Devon Steven
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Lots of lovely writing and phenomenal ideas about motherhood, female rage, and our bodies, but it meandered on for longer than served its purpose, resulting in an overall feeling of navel gazing instead of philosophizing.
"She is, after all, the greatest story of all time."

*I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway in exchange for an honest review*

Sometimes a giveaway book stands out as one to be particularly excited about, despite the odds of actually winning. This was one of those books. Although I have never been pregnant and have no plans to be in the near future, the element of body fluency caught my attention. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. After getting about 50 pages in, I went back and got a pencil and
Lisa Eirene
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very important book and I wish I had read it two years ago, when I was in the middle of the post-partum haze. I could relate to this book SO MUCH. I think it’s an injustice to women that the modern birth and pregnancy books don’t really talk about post-partum issues much. Sure, they might give you a checklist of PPD signs but they don’t talk about much of the issues that can happen…

“Because we are a culture focused on the singular act of birthing, no one tells you what comes before or
Jan 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book. I really did. My own experience of early motherhood resonated with the idea of a rage that can come out of becoming a mother, and I am on board with Caro May's thesis that there is something to be said for connecting with our feminine bodies, something to be said about the importance of listening to the shifts - anger, grief, transformation - that can come after childbirth. She's so vulnerable in her writing, documenting ugly moments for herself and her family in the ...more
Kristin Boldon
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, borrowed, memoir
An excellent, lyrically written, often wrenching memoir about one woman's postpartum struggles with rage and physical healing, while also celebrating the love she has for her daughter, and the connection she builds with her mother and the memory of her grandmother. It sometimes wandered too far for my taste into the mystical, and I occasionally struggled to follow the story, but I was always willing to keep going with this author. It's so important to have stories like this out there, bringing t ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I was initially hesitant about reading this memoir as it reminded me of a very overwhelming and manipulative old friend of mine, who also happened to be a Cancer as is the author, Molly. A noteworthy sentence I took from the novel is Molly's mother telling her "We've all heard enough of your troubles... I just hope you learn how to take care of yourself. I haven't seen you do that yet." This sentence summed up my feelings perfectly towards my old friend and towards my thoughts of the author init ...more
Alex Templeton
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have probably mentioned in other reviews how my favorite new subgenre of memoir are motherhood memoirs, especially early motherhood memoirs. I became a mother four years ago, so I enjoy commiserating with authors about their experiences of this nutty time. I looked forward to reading this one, as it promised to explore the emotion of rage, and that is something that I've struggled with. There have been many times where it all just seems! So! UNFAIR! And I don't CARE if I'm rational or not! I t ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finally a real book about the postpartum experience.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: motherhood
This book. "Wow" feels like an understatement, but my emotions are so raw after finishing it, every single memory of my immediate postpartum years coming back to me so alive and tangible right now, that I can't locate the right words to describe how beautiful and meaningful and real this book is. So I'll focus on things I've done this week while reading it: 1) reached out to the author through social media to thank her for writing it (that is not a thing I usually do, even though I love so many ...more
Katie Metzler
This book was so repetitious and the midpoint I just wanted it to be over. There were some beautifully written passages and thought-provoking themes but overall the author seemed very self-absorbed. For as introspective as she claimed to be, she could NOT see outside herself. The refusal to take care of herself while constantly talking about needing to heal herself was frustrating, as was the rejection of evidence-based medicine.
Suzanne Terry
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
TLDR: Did not like it. I stalled on it for a month once I'd gotten about halfway through and then hate-read the second half. Technically, I'm counting this as my "Book With a Cover You Don't Like" category for the #BookRiotReadHarderChallenge2018 because I let this one sit on my shelf for months, avoiding it, knowing that heading back into postpartum territory could be triggering for me. Well, happy to report that Molly Caro May's memoir didn't bring me back into that traumatic place but it did ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A very strange and intriguing block of lyrical non-fiction.
Stephanie Allen
This is a very important book. There is so little in literature about the post-partum experiences of women. This is a hold-nothing-back account of a woman desiring to be embodied in a body that some would consider "damaged" by childbirth.

As a future OB-Gyn this journey was very eye-opening for future experiences with patients. This book also made me further realize the dearth of support for pregnant and post-partum women in the American system. There is no space for women who don't "bounce back
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
May's exploration of post-birth new motherhood is what all new moms need to read, to gain an understanding that we are all emotionally connected in the struggles that await us after giving birth. While every birth, child, woman, and recovery is different, our path toward a new identity - emotionally, physically, mentally, and physically - unites us.

Caro May bravely shares her own struggle as a woman, mother, daughter, and partner. She talks about the things we should all be talking about: the h
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book explores in head-nodding detail the part of motherhood and pregnancy that goes ignored - that postpartum period where everything you expect can be flipped on its head. I had an easy pregnancy, a painful and overwhelming but not overly traumatic labor, and then a gruesome couple of months where I tried to heal. But no one talks about the mother. No one allows the wholly singular physical and emotional pain to be expressed because look at that baby. I'm in love with the first half of BOD ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book connected me to motherhood in new ways and spoke right to the core of Me. It wasn’t an easy read but I took comfort in the morsels and will for a long time to come I’m sure. Thanks Ramona for letting me read your copy.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Raw, real + unfiltered. I'm grateful for this book--it felt like a beautiful dream to read it, even amidst the nightmarish moments, because it's so lyrical, honest + forgiving. This is a superb piece of memoir. ...more
A very raw, powerful work of memoir.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic, e-book, babies
Body Full of Stars is a memoir about the author’s difficult postpartum, chronicling her struggles with incontinence, hormone imbalance, and thyroid issues, as well as an accompanying array of emotional breakdowns and strained relationships. I wouldn’t wish her experiences on anyone, but difficulties postpartum are all too common and not talked about enough.

However, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I almost put this book aside many times. I’m not certain why I continued; I think at some point I jus
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this, not without once or twice thinking, “check your privilege, already” but I’ve needed to be called out on my own moments of privilege, too. So, there’s grace for that.

Much of my own physical collapse has happened before I entered motherhood but the journey continues and so this memoir felt safe and nurturing to those of us mucking through the fog.

The beauty of the desire to heal and its ability to continue on the arduous journey is revealed in both the author’s own self as well
Lauren Salisbury
May 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
This filled me with rage but not in the way it was supposed to.

There was an excessive amount of apologizing for the husband who presented as an insensitive jerk. For what it's worth to whoever needs to hear it: no, watching your partner have a traumatic birth is not worse than experiencing that birth FFS.
Marilyn Guggenheim
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Body Full of Stars captures the gorgeous wonder of new life and love, and shows how these are inescapably entangled with hard work that pushes us to our limits. These days when pregnancy, childbirth and parenting take their place with weddings as a kind of competitive sport among us entitled middle-class Americans, Molly Caro May’s memoir takes readers to the messy, beautiful reality of the essential grind. “Essential” because the humbling moments of body fluids and arguments we want to forget, ...more
Kayla Hollis
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a momma who suffered postpartum depression, particularly in the form of rage, I needed this book so much. Some parts were not completely up my alley - the author is a lot more into nature and being connected to the earth than I am - but I appreciated the perspective anyway; it was beautiful. I'd venture to say that any mother who felt differently than they were "supposed" to after giving birth- i.e., not glowing and basking in happiness and love over her new child 24/7 - would find something ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The beautiful, but not glamorous, look into the postpartum period of pregnancy, and a woman's hormones in general. Very insightful read, and left me with a list of questions to research as well as a feeling of solidarity. ...more
Joan Ifland
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The dear complexity of mothers

This book captures the vagaries of the new mother. Threads of life past and future catch up and spin out with disorienting fierceness just when we are most vulnerable. This book let me know and accept my new motherhood 35 years later.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This isn't just a pregnancy or motherhood book, it's a book about being female. It's all very personal and for me entirely relatable. Vulnerable, honest, and true. I wish someone gave this to me a long time ago. ...more
Mary Nee
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book, and I am glad I read it.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I liked this initially but found it quite self-indulgent by the end.
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