Join Sarah Moss to talk about our May Book of the Month, NIGHT WAKING, on Wed 30 May 9-10pm

(197 Posts)

May's Book of the Month is one of the best books on motherhood I've read for ages. Like Helen Simpson in Hey Yeah Right Get a Life, Sarah Moss is one of those authors that just nails it. This is a book you'll be passing on to everyone around you, and should win prizes for its author.

Anna Cassingham (aka Dr Bennet) is an Oxford Research Fellow writing a history book. Only she isn't, because she is also trying to cope with the incessant interruptions, questions and demands of precocious, death-obsessed, seven year old Raph and two year old Moth, who has yet to sleep through the night. Husband Giles, owner of the tiny island of Colsay where they have come to live for the summer, is keen on homemade bread and recycling, less keen on childcare and clean surfaces. Whilst planting a tree one day, the family discover a baby's skeleton, which sets Anna (and the police) on a papertrail of stories that are interlinked with the island's history and Giles's family. The dialogue is sharp and funny, the observations are lively and true to life. Above all, the tension between the visceral love for your family and the need for self-preservation is brilliantly explored.

Find out more on the book of the month page, and you can check out Sarah's website for videos, reviews and more details on the people and places that inspired the book.

Granta have given us 50 copies to give away to Mumsnetters - to claim yours go to the book of the month page and fill in your details. We'll post here when all the copies have gone. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

We are delighted that Sarah will be joining us to chat about NIGHT WAKING, motherhood and her writing career on Wednesday 30 May, 9-10pm. Hope you can join us then...

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 06:19:59

God you lot were miserable mothers.
I got annoyed by the chaos of her life that would be so easily solved.
Buy some bloody food FFs. Use a freezer.

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 06:20:26

Abd stop swearing at your kids. That annoyed me.

blubberguts Mon 21-May-12 07:57:43

Fair enough about the food. The swearing is about being barely in control of yourself or your feelings, being at the end of your tether. She doesn't want to swear at the kids but it leaks out of her despite knowing it is wrong, then that further adds to the guilt. Swearing was probably part of her daily life pre kids and is now another thing to be surpressed and judged for. I think it represents quite a lot here.

blubberguts Mon 21-May-12 08:03:25

'God you lot were miserable mothers', yes I was...imagine the guilt associated with that. And see how much worse it is made by society's response to that. Is Giles' lack of parenting prowess judged anywhere near as harshly?

NoraHelmer Mon 21-May-12 08:17:29

I'm finding it quite a painfully honest account of life with a toddler. My youngest is just coming to the end of the toddler stage and I can completely identify with Anna's stress and anger and frustration at having no time to get things done. Fortunately DH is a lot more helpful than Giles smile And, yes, another miserable cow here grin No adult wants to get told off by their partner for swearing - it's humiliating.

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 08:43:08

Yes obv Giles is crap

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 08:44:03

It's not like it's her first kid though. Bloody man up. Mind you ages nuts at work too. Maybe she's just crap at everything ?

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 08:45:33

"she's "

iPhone shit

Blatherskite Mon 21-May-12 09:23:17

My youngest is still firmly in the middle of her Gruffalo stage. Maybe that's why it's annoying me so much - I read that book 20 times a day as it is, I don't want to read it again when I get some time with my own book!

Hullygully Mon 21-May-12 09:26:39

snort at all the irritated pragmatists!

Flightty Mon 21-May-12 09:33:19

God you're harsh!

Flightty Mon 21-May-12 09:33:40

@ Lumbago not you hullys

Hullygully Mon 21-May-12 09:42:29

Snot really harsh, it's a different attitude. My mother would have said of the protagonist that she had far too much time to think...

Hullygully Mon 21-May-12 09:43:27

Which is interesting as the protagonist says that she doesn't have enough. (Guess who's got early onset and forgotten the protagonist's name)

typicalvirgo Mon 21-May-12 09:49:45

I think my question would have to be ' Sarah, are you a MNer ? grin'

There were so many things that have been said, experienced or questioned on these boards obviously spent too many years on these boards

blubberguts Mon 21-May-12 10:26:22

My mother would say to her, as she frequently did to me much to my enduring irritation, 'you don't know you're born quite honestly'. Massive lack of empathy out there for women who struggle with this seismic shift in their lives. The judgemental attitudes to these women in society really is breathtaking.

southlondonlady Mon 21-May-12 13:49:03

Really enjoying this so far, and the main character is much more interesting than last month's dull-as-ditchwater Madeline imo smile I think its a disturbing portrayal of someone close to the edge. Though she does make extra work for herself - stop baking your own bread for goodness sake!

Flightty Mon 21-May-12 14:08:51

No I think you just have to be mindful of the idea that there are probably a LOT of us in a similar situation with similar lives, possibly even there could be an element of autobiography in the book (we don't know) and thus to really snipe at the main character as though she were real is going to come across as rather unkind...

Well it does to me anyway.

Flightty Mon 21-May-12 14:11:10

Anna, Hulls

Hullygully Mon 21-May-12 16:05:54

<waits for "first world problems" - which would not be entirely without truth of course>

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 20:23:11

Why take your kid out of school
When you can't stand being with them?

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 20:24:37

If the protagonist was living in a council house with no education ages have been investigated by ss.
But she * thinks. So that's ok.

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 20:25:00

Although. By the end I liked her more.

lumbago Mon 21-May-12 20:25:21

She'd. Not ages.
I must stop ranting

blubberguts Mon 21-May-12 20:50:23

investigated by ss for what?

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