Ciara's Reviews > Rockabye: From Wild to Child

Rockabye by Rebecca Woolf
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's review
Aug 16, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: autobio-memoir, baby-pregnancy-infertility-parentin, incomprehensibly-terrible, ladies-stereotyping-ladies, read-in-2012
Read in May, 2012

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 (apparently it is my unconscious goal in life to read all of them) & sometimes it's hard for me to relate to another memoir by a married 36-year-old who finally decides it's time to knuckle down & have a baby since here career is going so great & she wheels her bugaboo around brooklyn or paris & & talks about hos disgusting breastfeding is. so i really hoped that this would be a mommy memoir that spoke more to where i am coming from as an unmarried, broke, tattooed weirdo.

no such luck! i don't know rebecca woolf, obvs, but her memoir makes her seem like kind of a terrible person. there's SO MUCH stuff in this book about how being pregnant & recently post-partum really fucked with her head because she wasn't skinny & sexy anymore, & being skinny & sexy is a huge part of her feminine identity. i know a lot of women feel that way, but i never have. & now that i am about halfway through my pregnancy, i have to say, i have never felt better about my body. i've never had too many body issues to begin with, but with my big ol' baby belly, & the fact that i can buy clothes specifically designed to treat said belly as a utilitarian apparatus designed to hold the clothes up (maternity jeans, i love you), i am feeling particularly gorgeous. what need have i to compete with the skinny minnie fashionistas of the world when i have a wonderful little baby cooking away inside me? i never like reading memoirs that spill a lot of ink on the author's body image problems, but the fact that this particular author managed to bring so much girl-girl competition & so little self-awareness to the table especially turned me off.

she also goes on & on & on about how much she loves sex & how tough it was for her post-partum to find time for hanky panky with her boyfriend & how she didn't expect the baby to disrupt her sexual exploits so much, blah blah blah. sorry, i just don't enjoy reading about people a) being fucking stupid--of course a baby disrupts your life, what'd you think? & b) trying to portray themselves as some kind of a sex goddess. annie sprinkle can only just barely get away with it & she's an actual porn star. if you're just a really un-self-aware 23-year-old living in los angeles & being financially supported by your wealthy orange county parents while you play house with your subcultural boyfriend, i especially am not interested.

rebecca also spent shitloads of time writing about what a great writer she is. this is never advised because it only encourages your readers to pay extra attention to the wuality of your writing. i really wasn't expecting luscious prose from a 23-year-old mom, you know? i was willing to give her a pass on the pulitzer-caliber sentence construction & just enjoy the story. but since she was pretty much begging me to judge her writing, i have some adjectives: forced, purple, florid, embarrassing, occasionally unreadable, eyeroll-inducing...

if you have been hankering for a completely humorless, self-involved mommy memoir written by an over-privileged rockabilly chick who basically just published her diary, then RUN, don't walk to your nearest library & check this out. otherwise, give it a pass.

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