‘The best book I’ve ever read about motherhood’ Jude Rogers, Observer
‘I kept scribbling in the margins: ‘We need to know this stuff!” Joanna Pocock, Spectator
A radical new examination of the transition into motherhood and how it affects the mind, brain and body
During pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood, women undergo a far-reaching physiological, psychological and social metamorphosis.
There is no other time in a human’s life course that entails such dramatic change-other than adolescence. And yet this life-altering transition has been sorely neglected by science, medicine and philosophy. Its seismic effects go largely unrepresented across literature and the arts. Speaking about motherhood as anything other than a pastel-hued dream remains, for the most part, taboo.
In this ground-breaking, deeply personal investigation, acclaimed journalist and author Lucy Jones brings to light the emerging concept of ‘matrescence’. Drawing on new research across various fields – neuroscience and evolutionary biology; psychoanalysis and existential therapy; sociology, economics and ecology – Jones shows how the changes in the maternal mind, brain and body are far more profound, wild and enduring than we have been led to believe. She reveals the dangerous consequences of our neglect of the maternal experience and interrogates the patriarchal and capitalist systems that have created the untenable situation mothers face today.
Here is an urgent examination of the modern institution of motherhood, which seeks to unshackle all parents from oppressive social norms. As it deepens our understanding of matrescence, it raises vital questions about motherhood and femininity; interdependence and individual identity; as well as about our relationships with each other and the living world.