Book Review: We Need To Talk About The Conditions Of My Imprisonment

We Need to Talk About the Conditions of My Imprisonment book review #bookreview

I was recently contacted by the lovely Susie from So Happy In Town to review a book that she and many other of my favourite bloggers have contributed to. How could I say no? I love their writing already and I had heard a whisper of this book before. It is rare for me to read outside of a holiday environment but this one had already piqued my interest.

We Need To Talk About The Conditions Of My Imprisonment

This book has been compiled by Michelle Tan who is the mastermind behind Ms. Awesome, Mother Extraordinaire and who I first encountered and loved over at Agent Spitback. Michelle has won awards for her writing which is witty beyond hilarity. I haven’t yet read anything of hers that hasn’t hooked me in, made me laugh or cry and completely nod along in agreement. Her addition to this book is nothing short of genius.

The rest of the short stories have been collected from writers across the world and they tell the truthful horrors that motherhood entails. There are no blossoming pregnancies and Pinterest Mums here. These stories are tales of foreboding and parental distress. But in all seriousness they are hilarious reflections that provide the truth of Motherhood. They are not glamorous but they are full of love non the less. Do any of us really have our shizzle together in this parenting game? I doubt it. Do all of us have tales of poonamis and supermarket tantrums? I know I do. I have many of them. Are we all just doing our best and hoping we don’t psychologically scar our children along the way? I hope so.

We Need to Talk About the Conditions of My Imprisonment book review #bookreview

Who Would Like The Book?

So who would like the book? Who is it aimed at? As it clearly isn’t about a criminal serving time under less than humane conditions. Nope, this is about people who have done nothing wrong other than to chose to have children and have realised that it isn’t everything Hollywood and the Parenting Guru books tell us it will be.

In fact, just in case you are currently sat thinking that having children will be a good idea then let me tell you this. Having children will be the best decision you ever make. They complete you as a human, they fill you with love you cannot even begin to comprehend until you have felt it and then you will not be able to put it into words for others to understand. The only people that can relate are other Mothers and this is where a lot of mothering camaraderie comes from. The understanding. However, it will not be joyful or easy all of the time. If, in fact ever. It is demanding, draining, dirty and debilitating. It is tiring, taunting, teasing and testing. If you want a truthful insight into parenting this is the book for you.

Are you sat at home surrounded by, what can only be described as a war zone by 8am (on a good day)? Are you wondering if that is chocolate or poop on your once immaculate cream sofa? And wondering if you should sniff or lick it to check? Are you fluent in the theme tune of Bing and find yourself whistling Peppa the f***ing Pig in the shower? Has your house been invaded by Mini Mussolini’s and you’re not sure if you invited them in? Then this is the book for you.

My Thoughts

If I haven’t already sold the book to you yet then let me tell you what I think about the book. It is the funniest thing I have read in months. And I read all of those viral ‘auto correct’ threads on Facebook. I read this in two days because I couldn’t put it down. Dinner was late both days and I think their may have been an incident in the garden involving a flower pot whilst I wasn’t looking. There are unconfirmed reports and conflicting stories about the pot but it is definitely now in 6 pieces.

Each chapter is written by someone different and if you read any parenting blogs then you may be familiar with some of the Contributors. The foreword is written by Harriet of Toby and Roo fame, there is a poem by Dawn from Rhyming with Wine, an enthrawling chapter from the wonderful Susie (as mentioned above) who clearly shares my dread of the ‘play date’, and an insight into genius children by the ever brilliant Gemma from Life is Knutts (ok, I am bias there as I absolutely love that woman and her baking).

All of the writers are honest, no holes barred kind of writers who offer up their truth about parenting on their blogs and now in this book. As I am familiar with many of their writing styles I found I was very quickly able to identify who’s chapter I was reading. But if in doubt each has their own bio at the end of each chapter so you can find out a bit more about them and go and read some more of their blogs if you want. The nicest thing about this book is that it makes you feel like you are not alone. You are not the only parent out there struggling or finding your children tough to deal with.

No one knows what they are doing and this book shows us this. These women are not writing about these things solely for a laugh. They do it to make sure no one ever feels like they are alone and completely failing. None of us are failing if you are doing our best.

Book Release

We Need To Talk About The Conditions Of My Imprisonment is out from 21st April but is available for preorder from Amazon and costs £7. Get your copy HERE. Trust me you won’t regret it. But I can’t promise you won’t be too engrossed in it, laughing away, whilst little Tarquin eats the slug he just found in your garden.

We Need to Talk About the Conditions of My Imprisonment book review #bookreview


  1. What a fantastic review Kirsty – thanks so much! Really pleased you enjoyed the book – it’s all down to El’s brilliant idea and hard work. You’re a true superstar for this review. xx

  2. Fabulous review. I actually felt like a ‘real’ mum who was far from alone once I got into this book. And yes…I am a contributor; the sad mother who struggles to keep her kids quiet when we lived in our Sydney apartment. So chuffed to be sitting amongst some amazing writers. El Tan is a genius!

  3. That looks like a good book for parents. I like something like that saying the truth. We have all been there and thought we are terrible parents but it is not easy. Plus humour is always the best way to deal with this.

  4. Ive seen this reviewer a few times and it looks just like something that I would like. Will definitely be getting myself a copy! #bigpinklink

  5. I have heard so much about this book and really want a copy for myself. I need a bit of a giggle at the moment and also to feel like someone else understands what parenting is like. I’m off to buy it right now. x

  6. Ah, sounds like my kind of book! I really enjoy reading Harriet’s views on life and love Gemma’s humour! Really great review, Kirsty – you’ve convinced me!

  7. I really enjoyed your book review and there somethings that I can already related to, even my wife can relate to some of these stories too.

    Awesome book review. and thanks for sharing

    John M

  8. I really must get my hands on this book asap! It sounds amazing and so many incredible writers have contributed to it! Wonderful review lovely and thank you being a most wonderful cohost too xx

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