All My Wild Mothers

All My Wild Mothers: Motherhood, loss and an apothecary garden

Nature Writing
Hardback Published on: 02/02/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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All My Wild Mothers
Almost Unbearably Moving
I adored this book. It blew my mind that out of something so sad, something so hopeful was born. There is a real sense of the need for patience and time in... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley


'Lyrical and beautiful and feels like a haven in a cynical world - exactly the book we all need to read right now'Catherine Simpson, author of One Body: A Retrospective, When I Had A Little Sister and Truestory

'A book of passionate resistance to everything in modern life that wants us to stay neat and small and fearful'Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure For Sleep

An intimate weaving of memoir and herbal folklore, All My Wild Mothers is a story of rewilding our wastelands and the transformation that can happen when we do.

At seven months pregnant, Victoria Bennett was looking forward to new motherhood and all that was to come. But when the telephone rang, the news she received changed everything. Her eldest sister had died in a canoeing accident.

Five years later, struggling with grief, the demands of being a parent-carer for her young son, and the impact of deeper austerity, life feels very different to the future she had imagined. A move to a new social housing estate in rural Cumbria offers Victoria and her family a chance to rebuild their lives. Constructed over an industrial site, at first the barren ground seems an unlikely place to sow the seeds of a new life.

She and her son set about transforming the rubble around them into a wild apothecary garden. Daisy, for resilience. Dandelion, for strength against adversity. Red campion, to ward off loneliness. Sow thistle, to lift melancholy. Borage, to bring hope in dark and difficult times.

Stone by stone, seed by seed, All My Wild Mothers is the story of how sometimes life grows, not in spite of what is broken, but because of it.

'An exciting new voice in nature writing' Cal Flyn, Sunday Times Writer of the Year, and author of Islands of Abandonment and Thicker Than Water

  • Publisher: John Murray Press
  • ISBN: 9781529398618
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Weight: 520g
  • Dimensions: 218 x 146 x 38 mm

Customer Reviews

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All My Wild Mothers
It brought joy and warm tears to my eyes, beautiful!!
I don't think I will ever find enough words to express how profoundly beautiful this book is. A real life story expressing love and respect for nature. S... READ MORE
Kristina Kalmikova
All My Wild Mothers
A beautifully written memoir
This is a beautifully written memoir about the grief suffered from the loss of a sister, but also about the author’s attempts to create a garden with her y... READ MORE
Laura Jones
All My Wild Mothers
All My Wild Mothers is in my top five reads of the year; such a stunning in-depth and personal book that is part memoir, part an introduction guide to seed... READ MORE
Gem Fletcher
All My Wild Mothers
'All My Wild Mothers' is almost unbearably beautiful, and I didn't want it to finish. This is an easy book to read, with many short chapters, each of whic... READ MORE
Chantal Lyons