This book is truly beautiful. It is filled with short stories of women that range from childhood to childbirth. Each story perfectly encapsulates a different emotion in an intense way. There were a few chapters that brought me to tears.
It is generally shitty to be a woman, from any perspective. This book takes you on a journey using stories that will feel deeply personal to many women who read this book. I did not grow up in Wales or give birth to a human or ever doubt my assigned sex/gender or have my babysitter go missing (and possibly die). But the way Caldwell wrote this book makes it feel like I certainly did go through all this, or know someone very personally who has. The stories Caldwell presents are both profound and inclusive.
Not every character will draw large amounts of empathy from you, but you definitely will find some trait or aspect to connect to in each of them. Caldwell wrote specific moments in a woman’s life where she feels absolutely powerless, and where she feels she can control anything (even life or death) with delicate beauty that will make you reminisce of the times you have felt that throughout your life. Not every story is about some larger-than-life event that changed a woman, but rather smaller, less notable events that have formed a woman’s being. Those small memories we all have where something within us was forever changed, but it is hard to explain to anyone so we hold onto it silently.