As the mom of a three-year-old, I've read a ton of books on motherhood in the last few years, as there have been an abundance of them! And Now We Have Everything is one of the absolute best. Meaghan O'Connell is darkly hilarious, intelligent, poignant, and absolutely honest — and she's a fantastic writer as well. This one is not to be missed. Recommended By Jill O., Powells.com
I should start this staff pick by saying that I am undecided about whether or not I will have children. It shouldn't be anyone's business, but of course, somehow it is. I am not entirely sure what I expected from this memoir, but for one thing, I didn't expect to love it. Meaghan O'Connell writes with such heartfelt candor, but at the same time she writes with brutal honesty, which is extremely refreshing. She wanted to have a child, but she still wasn't ready when that little plus-sign appeared. The book is set over the course of her pregnancy and throughout the first year of the baby being alive. She loves him, but also feels chained by him. She loves her fiancé, but also resents him for being a natural at parenting, while she drowns. It brought up questions for me that I wasn't prepared to answer, since O'Connell was 29 when she became pregnant and I am five years short of that age. I have been recommending this book to all of my friends, whether they want children or not, and whether they are women or not. It's great for fathers because it allows them to hear what the other side of parenting looks like and how to recognize when your partner is struggling. It's great for mothers because it allows them to chip away at the guilt if they begin to wonder what their lives would be like if they hadn't had a baby. It's great for people who are on the fence about having kids because it forces you to really think about what you are getting into. Is it worth it? That's up for you to decide, but I can tell you that deciding to read And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready will be the easiest choice that you make all year. Recommended By Katherine M., Powells.com
And Now We Have Everything is the most honest book about becoming a mom I've read. I don't have kids and don't know that I ever will, but I have a lot of anxieties about parenting and childrearing and Meaghan's writing aligns with them perfectly. This book is really funny in a kick-you-in-the-stomach kind of way, and I found myself laughing and sobbing a lot while reading it. As a childless bookseller, I wholeheartedly believe everyone — mothers in any sense of the term and others — would benefit from reading this book. Recommended By Emily L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most anticipated books of 2018 — Esquire, Elle, Nylon, Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Millions, BookRiot, The Week.
"Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition." — Cheryl Strayed
A raw, funny, and fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up.
When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed — a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood — didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.
And Now We Have Everything is O'Connell's exploration of the cataclysmic, impossible-to-prepare-for experience of becoming a mother. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O'Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the fantasies of a "natural" birth experience that erode maternal self-esteem, post-partum body and sex issues, and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity.
Channeling fears and anxieties that are still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and visceral motherhood story for our times, about having a baby and staying, for better or worse, exactly yourself.
"For every What to Expect When You're Expecting (and its ilk), there should be a What to Expect When You Weren't Expecting. But, strangely, there isn't, so Meaghan O'Connell has committed her experience of accidental pregnancy and motherhood to the page."
"As any parent knows, having a child is akin to detonating a tiny bomb in the middle of your otherwise wonderful life. O'Connell is fearless when negotiating the mess and magic of such difficult terrain, the place where fantasy goes to die and a genuine adult must rise in its stead (and function perfectly on no sleep). And Now We Have Everything is like the very best conversations, the ones you have in lowered tones at the back of a smoky bar with a trusted friend-funny, dark, and threaded with just the right amount of hope."
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest
"The harrowing, hilarious, totally honest account of parenthood we've all been waiting for. O'Connell's story is compulsively readable for parents and non-parents alike, as much about being young and unprepared for life as bringing another human into this chaotic world."
Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State
"As someone who hopes to have kids someday, but has no idea what that might mean, reading this book felt like getting the first honest glimpse into that world after a lifetime of clichés."
Julie Buntin, author of Marlena
"Smart, funny, and true in all the best ways, this book made me ache with recognition of what it felt like to be a new mom (and a human)."
"Meaghan O'Connell writes with bracing clarity about the milk-soaked days of pregnancy and early parenthood, and I (truly) laughed and cried reading her account of crossing the great human divide. The biggest compliment of all: I used several hours of daylight childcare hours reading this book, just because I didn't want to put it down."
Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers
About the Author
Meaghan O'Connell's writing has appeared in New York magazine, Longreads, and The Billfold, where she was an editor. She lives in Portland, OR, with her husband and young son.
Meaghan O'Connell on PowellsBooks.Blog
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