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My Wild and Sleepless Nights


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From the journalist and critically acclaimed author of The Wild Other, an unflinching, beautifully written, and deeply personal book about motherhood, female identity and sexuality - for all mothers and anyone about to embark on that journey.

About the Author

Clover Stroud is a writer and journalist writing for the Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Conde Nast Traveller among others. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and five children. Her first book, The Wild Other, was shortlisted for The Wainwright Prize.


The best evocation of the all-consuming, self-eroding reality of motherhood, while also being luminous with love. * The Sunday Times *
What does being a mother really feel like? Clover Stroud's powerhouse of a memoir gets closer than anything else I have read to answering that question. The motherhood she describes is the very antithesis of the sanitised, smiling vision we are sold in washing powder ads... She excels in evoking the feral, instinctive forces that motherhood unleashes... This is a vision of motherhood for the (now middle-aged) MDMA generation... The reader is simply swept up in her painful, wonderful world. Buy it, read it, and enjoy it for the wild ride it is. * The Guardian *
Clover Stroud's brilliantly unvarnished memoir finds the heroism and poetry in having kids ... Much of this book ..reads like a nature memoir, full of landscape both external and internal ... How brilliant for someone to write about the blankness as well as the beauty. -- Nell Frizzell * Telegraph *
This is quite simply the best book about motherhood I have ever read: touching, tender, honest and true. Even as she's bracingly direct about the frustrations of motherhood, Stroud also revels in the delights. Bliss and boredom coexist side by side - and the contradictions are at the core of it all. Stroud's book will give anyone heading out on this fearsome journey a lantern to guide the way. The book is not always pretty, and sometimes its directness is shocking, but it is full of love and honesty. * The Sunday Times *
Brilliant motherhood memoir...Clover Stroud is one of the very best writers on the light and dark of motherhood and, if you enjoyed her debut The Wild Other, you'll love this. The book follows the first year of her fifth child's life as she juggles looking after a newborn with dealing with her teenage son's problematic behaviour. The writing is sublime and honest. * Good Housekeeping *
Best Books of 2020: a touching guide to the joys and terrors of parenting. * The Times *
A visceral story of pregnancy and domestic mayhem...[full of] raw primal maternal energy. -- Libby Purves * The Times *
BEST NON-FICTION OF 2020: Clover Stroud charts the highs and lows of motherhood in all their deep, dark glory. -- Sarra Manning * RED Magazine *
Rare are the books about motherhood, rarer still; the true, the generous, tender, resonant ones. This is that book. I loved it and I love Clover's voice. * Sophie Dahl *
Clover Stroud writes with precise intimacy and fearless honesty. She has somehow found a wholly original way to describe motherhood and, in doing so, truly conveys what it's like, in all its messy, sexy glory. * Hadley Freeman *
I have been waiting for a book like this for a long time. Stroud captures the very essence of motherhood in all its contradictions - the brutal loveliness of what it is to mother another, and how the act of doing so breaks us open in ways both wonderful and terrible. There are few other books about motherhood as brave, honest and beautifully written as this one. * Sarah Langford, author of In Your Defence *
The best memoirists don't just tell us about their lives - they tell us something about our lives, too. And Clover Stroud is one of our finest contemporary memoirists. My Wild and Sleepless Nights - her pitiless examination of her life as the mother of five children - is a masterpiece. *
Esther Coren *
I read in one greedy gulp and am still slightly reeling. Extraordinary writing... For mothers and those even vaguely interested in family dynamics it is fascinating. * Alexandra Heminsley *
I ripped through it. Bravo brave Clover Stroud, who writes about "raw and animal" motherhood in a way that make sense to me. * Amy Liptrot *
So raw and vivid. Clover is amazing and honest - she tells it. * Rachel Johnson *
Brilliant - touching, tender, honest and so true. I don't think I've ever read anything like it. It captures that hopeless sense of how much you love your children and how powerless you feel as they grow up and away from you. * Eleanor Mills *
What a beautiful writer Clover Stroud is! This honest look at the high and lows of the roller coaster that is maternal life and love is both joyous and exhilarating. * Cathy Rentzenbrink *
A compelling read. Clover writes so beautifully and somehow manages to give shape to the mess and madness of motherhood. * Lucy Atkins *
Stroud writes with moving, eloquent honesty. * Elizabeth Day *
Clover Stroud is a force of nature. * Elizabeth Gilbert *
Stroud's honesty as a writer is blistering. * Spectator *
It's the honesty that makes this book so compelling. -- Emily Hill * Spectator *
I devoured it in one gollop. Clover's extreme honesty is a rare and lovely thing. A wonderful book. * Julie Myerson *
As tender, blazing, funny and unflinching as the love it describes. At last someone has given a voice to the days spent hiding at the school gates, and scrambling for items of vaguely matching PE kit, and mouldy orange peel down the sofa, and the love that can reduce me to tears on an almost daily basis. I want to give this triumphant book to every mother I know. I want to say to them, Look what we did and we do; and it's all in here. * Rachel Joyce *
Clover's writing is visceral and brilliant, and motherhood is her topic. * India Knight *

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