Book Review: THE MAGIC OF MOTHERHOOD: THE GOOD STUFF, THE HARD STUFF, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN by Ashlee Gadd (& the writers of Coffee & Crumbs)

Published: April 4 2017
Pages: 240
Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)
Synopsis: Motherhood can often feel overwhelming and isolating. You find your feelings swinging between joy and uncertainty, intense love and anxiety, laughter and tears. Through it all, you constantly ask yourself, “Am I the only one who feels this way?” The Magic of Motherhood will reassure you that you’re not alone. Full of encouragement, humor, and wisdom that will speak to you right where you are, The Magic of Motherhood is like a long-overdue coffee date with your best girlfriend.

In this book you’ll find heartwarming essays about identity, adoption, body image, miscarriage, friendship, faith, infertility, and more. The Magic of Motherhood is a curated collection of honest stories that weave together the love, joy, and magnificent heartache of motherhood. Instead of offering advice, the writers offer something even better: their hearts.

The Magic of Motherhood is a love letter to mothers everywhere; it’s a story about the magic that happens in between calm and chaos, the joy that can be found in both beauty and mess, and the valuable lessons we learn about ourselves in between cups of reheated coffee and kitchen tables covered in crumbs.


(I’m typing this review one handed right now because, well, motherhood. My five week old son is sleeping in my other arm. I’m nothing if not thematic.)

THE MAGIC OF MOTHERHOOD is a compilation of beautifully written essays with a wide array of topics including miscarriage, adoption, mental illness, all having to do with the overall theme of motherhood.

I downloaded this title onto my Kindle the day it was released. I am a huge fan of the blog, Coffee & Crumbs, so I was excited about this book since I first heard about it. Immediately after starting the first essay, it sounded very familiar. I logged onto the website to see why it was so familiar – it was a public blog post. I had read it before. Coincidence, right? Kept reading and it seemed essay after essay was one I had read prior to this book. I was a little disappointed about that. I bought this book when all the content is available for free online. As I read on, I’m pretty sure (and I say this because I did not go on and check story for story) there was some new content. At the very least it was new-to-me content. That was the only drawback for me and the reason I rated four stars rather than the full five.

Every single one of these essays is so beautifully written and the topics are so meaningful. Each essay is impeccably gritty and the authors are ruthlessly honest. On a personal level, this book felt more to me like a community of moms than a book of essays. It may sound crazy, but I felt a connection with each and every one of these authors. I felt so many emotions for them. I felt like we were in the same room, casually talking.

Speaking as a new mother, newly home from hospital and tending to a newborn, I needed this book. I didn’t know that I needed it, but I needed it. I craved the company and appreciated the honesty. I shed tears (both happy and sad), I laughed, and I felt immense compassion. Not that I took advantage before, but I learned to hug my son a little tighter each time because of how utterly appreciative I am to have him. This book gave me hope and strength I needed to wade through those first few weeks. (I still find myself referencing back to some of the stories.)

As if I’m not gushing enough, this was the perfect read for me right now because each essay is relatively short. It was easy for me to pick up the book while my son was nursing or napping and read through one story, not having to get involved in a complex plot line. I read a few pages and was done and resolved. I could come back and have a new essay waiting for me, compared to reading a few pages of a novel and having to flip back the next time I picked it up to refresh my memory.

THE MAGIC OF MOTHERHOOD was a beautiful read and absolutely worth your time. I would recommend this book to all mothers – new, experienced, or expecting – anyone who appreciates beautiful writing, inspirational quotes, and stunning photographs. Everyone. I would just recommend this book to everyone!


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