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My Wild and Sleepless Nights: A Mother's Story

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  504 ratings  ·  40 reviews
'The best evocation of the all-consuming, self-eroding reality of motherhood, while also being luminous with love.' - Sunday Times

Mother to five children, Clover Stroud has navigated family life across two decades, both losing and finding herself. In her touching, provocative and profoundly insightful book, she captures a sense of what motherhood really feels like – how i
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 20th 2020 by Doubleday
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I really liked the writing style but think it was spoilt a bit by the unnecessary sexual references. I’m far from a prude but I don’t think it added anything to the story. Was just crude. Also I didn’t relate to the teenage and baby parenting happening at the same time. But I gave it 3 stars because I did enjoy the writing about the teenage years and in some parts it was poignant enough to bring a tear to my eye. Had it been a book solely about teenage parenting and had it left more to the imagi ...more
Pii Metsavas
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: beebielu
Honest is all I can say.
"Sometimes I think that a lot of parenthood is like that morning, trying to create an impression that you know what you are doing and are in control. Adult life is like this. The teachers have an authority and control over their class, but at the weekends, they want to relax and eat Chinese takeaway in their leisurewear. Sometimes it all feels like and illusion. The angry headmistress exercising zero tolerance really wants to get stoned too."
Suzannah Baker
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Someone described reading this book as an whole body experience, and they are totally right. I feel like the author awakened emotions in me I never knew that I had, or hadn’t felt for many many years. This is really a very different book from the usual ‘motherhood is hard, but worth it’ theme, but Wild and Sleepless is a genre in its own right.
If you read one book in your life, make it this one!
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book! Searingly honest, beautiful language, themes of maternal love, female sexuality, yearning and searching, self-doubt and self-identity. This is an engrossing read about women’s bodies and birth, the mothering of babies and teenagers, that will make mothers feel seen and allow anyone with a mother to empathise in myriad ways with what women give of themselves to their children, even when they don’t always get it ‘right’. I loved it!
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The only reason why I did not finish this in one sitting was due to the fact that I was being the very mother that seeps from the pages of this book. Stroud has hit the nail on the head in describing what life can be like with children, and the quiet struggles we have to swallow as a mother, for the sake of keeping the train moving.

I felt so uncomfortable reading this because it resonated with me so much. I felt guilty for the same things Stroud felt guilty for, including her relationship with h
Apr 01, 2020 marked it as decided-against
I DNFed Stroud’s last book, too; I should have known better that I don’t get on with her style.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book as a gift from a good mum friend of mine so I had no idea what to expect. I'd never heard of Clover Stroud and assumed this book would be like so many other parenting books that describe the funny and/or difficult bits of parenthood. However, as I started in on reading the book I was almost immediately taken in by Stroud's ability to describe everything so viscerally. She has this very raw, but relatable way of describing everything. Some of it I don't really recognise in m ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Devoured this visceral, humorous account of one woman's experience of motherhood. I find myself hungry for any writing about being a mother. Ironic because the women best placed to write such books are, like me, too done in at the end of the day to pick up a pen. And as soon as they do, the baby probably cries. I am nosy about how other women 'do' motherhood, but mainly I feel a need to share, to be seen, to speak uninhibited about the extraordinary experiences, challenges, changes being a mothe ...more
Becky Brown
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Laura Boakes
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
8/10 : Fitting perhaps, that I started {& finished} this book on the eve of my sons 10th birthday! Clover writes about her experience as a mother to five, without any airy fairy whimsy, instead with grit, honesty & realism. Having only one child, I can’t compare my experience to that of mothers with multiple children, however, the way in which Clover captures & encapsulates the overwhelming, often bewildering emotions accompanying motherhood, left me feeling seen, & understood. From the newborn ...more
Helen Vaslet
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book, I can’t recommend it highly enough. A searingly honest and poignant look at motherhood and family life. The chaos, challenges, joy and darkness that being a mother entails. I loved reading about Clovers youngest children which took me back to the days of raising small children and readily related to the madness of teenager life and the sadness that they leave you, as they should. Clover writes with a truly authentic voice hiding nothing and laying herself bare... she’s a b ...more
Katy Wheatley
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stroud takes us on a very personal journey through her experience of motherhood. She uses the birth and first year of her fifth child, Lester as a focus for exploring her experience of motherhood specifically and in general. She pulls no punches about the complex emotional space motherhood inhabits, both the extreme love and the extreme boredom. It's gritty and brutal and tender and joyful and I loved it. ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every mother should read this book! With raw honesty and very very very very good writing (as her eldest son Jimmy acknowledges) Stroud describes the extremes of motherhood in visceral detail. Apart from lapping up her story, I will apply a few nuggets of her wisdom to my own life. Play ping-pong (or HORSE) when my child asks me to. Let the kitchen be a mess. Buy the rabbit. Let them play with matches. Embrace the fact that as a mother, I will never feel fully whole at work or at home.
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best reflection on being a mother I have read so far! Reading this book is like listening to a friend who describes your own feelings, doubts and frustrations. You want to take the book in in small portions as you know it will end but you don't want it to end.. Beautiful language and pure joy to read. ...more
Louise Donegan
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stroud’s writing style is confessional, raw and honest. I thoroughly enjoyed her first book, memoir “The Wild Other”. This follow up charts her navigating motherhood (of five children!) and is similarly moving. Elizabeth Gilbert is quoted as saying of this book: “Every time a woman tells the truth like this, it sets another woman free” and I couldn’t agree more.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A friend mentioned this book to me and I convinced her to let me borrow her copy. This is not a quick, tear-through-it book, but it is remarkable at answering what being a mother feels like. Stroud so well captures my feelings on being split open in the worst and best ways. Truly a beautiful memoir.
Nellie Williams
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the most beautifully and honest book, written and narrated by Clover it will strike a chord with any child or mother. Every parent has undoubtedly had wild and sleepless nights though not all of them will talk about it. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book and anything Clover writes will fill resonate.
Emma Forster
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clover ... I’ve just finished your Wild & Sleepless nights on audio. I feel that saddening feeling when a good story ends. Thank you for writing with such imagination and honesty. I am a mother of 4 and so much of your story resonates with me. Thank you from the bottom of my wrecked motherly heart 💓 ... Emma x
Giulia Molteni
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I went into it thinking maybe it had been hyped up, spent the first third thinking she was a bit intense but her writing was beautiful. By the end it though i was crying and feeling all the feelings!! It does make you feel like she's just pouring her heart out at you, and being incredibly honest & real! ...more
Grace Leonard
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Raw, honest memoir exploring the authors experience of motherhood and mothering five children including a baby and a teenager all at once.
I’ve not enjoyed a book about motherhood more, it was beautiful and brilliant and I would recommend to all mothers. One I’ll buy for friends as gifts for sure.
Clara S-P
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What A Beauty

I loved this so absolutely and completely! I can't say better than Elizabeth Gilbert on the front cover 'every time a woman tells the truth it sets another woman free'
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk
An excellent look at being the parent of a teenager while having a newborn, preschoolers and one in between, while also clawing out time to write. Interestingly this book covers some unexpected marital snafus and the author's unexpected grief.

Birmingham library
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely ravishing with a huge heap of love. Clover Stroud has opened the market of confessional writing and memoir like no other on womanhood, motherhood, humanhood. Can't wait for her next book.

Catherine Jeffrey
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
This is a book to devour. The most honest and accurate account of motherhood you’ll ever read.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, non-fiction, 2020
Wow. Not my usual sort of thing but compelling and beautifully written. I didn't recognise everything but a lot resonated. ...more
Lisa Woodward
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Truly incredible.
Nancy Morris
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best book about motherhood I have ever read. Gold.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love her honesty.
Kathryn Rodger
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a refreshing take on motherhood.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book- highly recommend for all mothers and soon to be mothers.
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