Book Review: Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood – Holly McNish

Nobody Told Me Hollie McNish


Holly McNish is on her way to Glastonbury when she decides to take a pregnancy test, the blue lines appear and it’s not long after that Hollie starts writing her thoughts and feelings down. This continues throughout the entirety of her pregnancy all the way through to her child’s third birthday. A collection of diary entries and poetry.

I picked this up while waiting for the train after seeing it on a list of incredible poetry collections. Seeing as my dissertation and another of my final essays was about the female body, motherhood and poetry so of course, I wanted to read this. It was even better than I could have imagined.

I want to point out that I’ve never had children but I loved this collection and found it SO relatable. At each and every point in this Hollie is honest about her feelings. She talks about the changes in her body during pregnancy, birth and post birth and how they make her feel. The resentment she sometimes feels for her partner. The need she had to go back to work while struggling with the guilt of being a working mother.

It won’t be much of a surprise to say that I really, really enjoyed this collection. It is a lot bigger than most poetry collections but I think that’s because it does have the prose/diary entries too rather than just poems. I felt like that is what made it better though. There was so much to say and it didn’t feel crammed.

I gave this the full 5 stars and I can’t wait to read more of Hollie’s work. There is honesty, humour and wise words within this book and I want to recommend it to all of my poetry-loving friends. An absolutely fantastic read and I cannot recommend it enough.

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