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

(197 Posts)
TillyBookClub Thu 03-May-12 22:43:25

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...

NoraHelmer Tue 15-May-12 12:05:12

Mine arrived this morning - thank you MN smile

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-May-12 13:09:03

Phew. Hope you manage to read before 30 May. It's quite compulsive.

Hullygully Tue 15-May-12 13:10:12

It's great. Though very disappointed that I can't therefore be rude and sarcastic about it.

Can't have everything.

typicalvirgo Tue 15-May-12 13:39:13

Mine arrived this morning too. smile

Blatherskite Tue 15-May-12 13:44:51

Mine arrived this morning. Will start this evening

supersocrates Tue 15-May-12 18:12:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ProfCoxWouldGetIt Wed 16-May-12 08:22:05

Mine arrived yesterday - thank you MumsNet

Hullygully Wed 16-May-12 10:10:05

I want to ask about the "giveaways" - can't you persuade any of the slightly more literary end of the spectrum to do some giveaways...?

channy83 Wed 16-May-12 18:02:10

Hi I am new to this. Is there u get a new book released every month and how do you get a free copy

Flightty Thu 17-May-12 08:01:40


Hi Sarah smile Hope you are all well xx

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-May-12 11:33:13


Hi I am new to this. Is there u get a new book released every month and how do you get a free copy

Hello, here's how book club works. Fraid there's no guarantee of a free copy, but we do generally give away 50 copies (we got 100 once from one publisher).

All we ask in return (no such thing as a free lunch book) is that you come and post your thoughts when you've read it on the book of the month thread, and/or if you have a question for the author, please post that, too.


TillyBookClub Thu 17-May-12 13:46:56

Hullygully, we're working on it. Just been in London meeting lots of high end literary publishers who have exciting new books coming. Will keep you posted.

We also popped in to see Granta, who publish Sarah's book, and they gave us an advance copy of Names for the Sea, her memoir of living in Iceland: you can read about it here

Which also got me thinking about this article about women taking over post-collapse Iceland, sorting it out and now running the place. Definitely the way forward.

NoraHelmer Thu 17-May-12 18:51:50

Just followed the link to find out about Names for the Sea - am putting that on my Amazon wishlist grin

Hullygully Thu 17-May-12 19:22:13

Can I have a job in the books bit? I am astonishingly well-read, have all sorts of degrees and make great tea. And pour wine magnificently. Pleeeeeeeze?

lumbago Sat 19-May-12 19:35:33

This book is driving me NUTS atm. I loathe her. She's really a whining old vow. Fucking stop partying around with the sleep gruffalo shit. Don't move to Scotland if you can't stand ANY of your family.

lumbago Sat 19-May-12 19:36:13

(am enjoying though)

lumbago Sat 19-May-12 19:37:13

Not vow. Cow.
Not partying - pratting.
See? iPhone on rantlock

lumbago Sat 19-May-12 19:37:43

The main character isn't a feminist shes a doormat.

blubberguts Sun 20-May-12 20:37:30

Loved this book, loved it, loved it loved it. Have been waiting 9 years (since first child was born) to find a book that reflects my experiences of being a mother (I also moved along way away from home when baby was 6 months old - bad move!). Must be whining old cow etc but God it felt good to read something that felt so honest.

lumbago Sun 20-May-12 21:44:39

Have finished. Now LOVED it
She was still
Bloody annoying though. ;)

lumbago Sun 20-May-12 21:46:25

Why couldn't they even plan
A weeks food?

Blatherskite Sun 20-May-12 21:50:12

I'm really struggling to get into it. It's just not grabbing me at all. I read the Gruffalo enough to my own kids without having great swathes of it pasted into this book!

blubberguts Sun 20-May-12 22:52:34

That's what I loved so much. My kids have gone past that stage but the quotes from those books brought it all back so vividly. Here was someone else who had spent years of her life reading those exact books aloud until she had them down verbatim and half the time doing it automatically while thinking of something else.

blubberguts Sun 20-May-12 22:54:19

Also the guilt, the boredom, the feelings of inadequacy, the resentment of the husband, the loss of identity....hmmm!

FairyArmadillo Mon 21-May-12 04:38:49

Finished this book last night. I was mesmerized by the opening sentence with the swans. Thought the book was very well written and enjoyed it overall. However I found it difficult reading at some points, partly because some of the main character's feelings about motherhood echoed mine at some of the hardest points of my own experience. The hardest thing I identified with in the book was the desperate feeling of being so exhausted and emotionally depleted, out of control and resenting my child for still needing me. That feeling that you love your kids with all your heart but feel that having them and looking after them has cost you your identity.

I really enjoyed the book though and appreciated the amount of research the author undertook to make the story behind the dead baby and May's letters believable.

I'd like to ask the author how much of her own experience of parenting went into the book?

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