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Guardian readers favourite books of 2017
When Emily Morris was a 22-year-old student, she found out she was pregnant. The father of her baby told her to ‘enjoy your impending shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties’ and then disappeared. Despite not feeling maternal, Emily decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. She left university, moved back to the quiet town she was from to live with her mum, and braced herself for life being turned upside down.
In her memoir, Emily shares the loneliness, alienation and adventure she experienced finding her way as a single parent.
My Shitty Twenties started life as an award-winning and immensely popular blog. Moving, thoughtful, funny and wise, it is now a book that is heartbreaking, uplifting and an inspiration to any parent who has no idea what they are doing.
‘The freshest, frankest, wisest, ballsiest memoir I've read. Daring, eloquent, and important: a glorious tale of one woman’s triumph over the past and her own fears as she learns how to be a single parent in a world where ‘single’ is still a dirty word. I cried heaps and adored every page.’ —Emma Jane Unsworth
‘It’s refreshing to see this northern woman’s tale.’ —Antonia Charlesworth, The Big Issue in the North
‘This is not a book about a baby but rather a young woman becoming a mother, who would have preferred not to be single but just about coped anyway. The open and honest style of writing is refreshing and a welcome addition to the often infuriatingly upbeat accounts of parenting, a task that may be rewarding but is rarely easy. Emily’s treatment by the smug mums, signaling their virtues in the guise of advice or minor complaints, reminded me of my own experiences. Guilt and pressure to conform are ever present demons.’ —Jackie Law, Never Imitate Blog
‘I'm always loathe to use the Journey cliche but My Shitty Twenties is designed to take the reader on just that, in the company of the author, and it works exceptionally well – even if you can't immediately relate to the situations that Emily finds herself in, the style and panache with which they're conveyed makes them immensely readable and hugely enjoyable.’ —Luke Marlowe, Disclaimer Magazine
‘When the baby arrives, things are no better. Judgment appears at mother-and-baby groups, baby yoga and in the local park. Even her pram is judged. Emily attempts to rise above the stigma attached to “unmarried mothers” and wades through her shitty twenties with a child on her hip and with steadfast determination. A refreshingly honest account of single-motherhood and the realities facing young mothers today.’ —Margaret Madden, The Irish Times
‘I honestly think that this is an incredible memoir. It’s thought provoking and shows the best of a change in your life … I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to see what Emily does next.’ —Chloe Metzger
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