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Adrift: Fieldnotes from Almost-Motherhood

Miranda Ward

4 Reviews

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An artful, emotionally incisive and beautifully written debut memoir about the unique place of almost-motherhood

'The world is not neatly divided into two camps of women, those who wanted to reproduce and did, and those who didn't want to, and didn't. So many of us are caught here, in between, neither one thing nor the other, drifting towards a receding horizon, in our own camp . . .'

When Miranda Ward and her husband decided to have a baby, they were optimistic. There was no reason not to be: they were both young, they were both healthy. But five years, three miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy later, Ward finds herself still dealing with the ongoing aftermath of that decision: the waiting, the doubting, the despairing, the hoping.

ADRIFT is a memoir about the unique place of almost-motherhood. Some people pass through it without even noticing; others languish there, held safe, held prisoner, by the walls of not-knowing - for as long as there is still a question mark, an open ending, there is a chance of escape.

Inspired by her childhood on the California coast, Ward turns to the water, seeking solace in a landscape of a different kind - the swimming pool. Hoping to make sense of the uncertainty, she begins to ask questions of geography on the most intimate scale. How do we learn to feel at home in our own bodies, even when they disobey? How can we find our way, even when we feel adrift? What language do we have for the spaces in between? Charting a journey through territory at once deeply personal and widely shared, Ward offers a searing, lyrical and radically honest narrative of fertility and motherhood that is less often told.

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Praise for Adrift: Fieldnotes from Almost-Motherhood

  • Miranda's thoughtful, sharp, insightful, funny, brave, honest and often painful writing on fertility has given form and life and language to something fundamental and universal. I wish I'd had it years ago. I'm so glad to have it now

  • It's long past time we started to acknowledge the difficult space between pregnant and not and all the emotions that live there . . . a thoughtful, beautifully-written, devastating exploration of the will to reproduce and the wildness of the body

  • Miranda Ward captures the visceral hopelessness of infertility, and an ambiguous but mostly-unspoken space that many women unwillingly occupy forever. She never flinches away from the pain, and because of this her tender book will be precious to many readers

  • ADRIFT is a crucial, precious book by a writer with a wide-ranging intellect, beautiful prose and an astute and refreshingly honest voice. I was hooked by it, and fascinated by the layers she weaves as she moves the topics of fertility and pregnancy loss into the light

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Miranda Ward

MIRANDA WARD is a writer, lecturer and freelance editor. She has a PhD in cultural geography from Royal Holloway, University of London, where her research centred on the geographies of lap swimming and the indoor swimming pool. She grew up on a cattle ranch in California and now lives in Oxford.

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