My Wild and Sleepless Nights, Clover Stroud


October 2023

You know when you really want a book to give you an answer? When you think it might, which would not only alleviate you from having to do the work yourself, but also deliver you from any and all blame or responsibility for the ultimate outcome, however far down the line?

That’s what I went into this motherhood memoir from journalist and mother of five Clover Stroud expecting. Clover would be able to explain how the fuck she does it, the ‘it’ being successfully bring up all these children, so bloody many of them, mostly on her own, while producing a huge pile of successful writing, and looking after the horses who wander through her house, wouldn’t she?

I also wished for her to explain how you know - how you know when to have another, and that it’s the right thing. That you’ll manage and while it doesn’t get easier it also does, in many ways, get easier, and then it doesn’t, and then it does.

But Clover, of course, is writing to unearth her own answers, just as I have to work through to discover mine, however long it takes. And it does seem to be taking an inordinately long time. I need to find a way to write fast and furiously, like Clover, to get it all down as it’s pouring through my head instead of letting it sit and chill and percolate and go nowhere.

I think.

Though perhaps I am more sit in stillness over fast and furious.

My Wild and Sleepless Nights is published by Transworld (£8.99), though I listened on Audible