Mothership by Francesca Segal @francescasegal @vintagebooks #NetGalley #Mothership #Paediatrics #PrematureBabies


‘Heart-wrenching, heart-warming and heartfelt – Mother Ship is a beautifully crafted, warts-and-all love letter to our wonderful NHS’ Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt

‘Our greatest gift to one another is this: each woman here has been swept out by a riptide, pulled far from the current of normal motherhood. Apart and all together in this space, our odd craft, we are drawn back into the folds of the unremarkable.’

After her identical twin girls are born ten weeks prematurely, Francesca Segal finds herself sitting vigil in the ‘mother ship’ of neonatal intensive care, all romantic expectations of new parenthood obliterated. Her gripping diary of those months combines the tenderness of a love poem with the compulsive pace of a thriller. As each day brings a fresh challenge for her and her babies, Francesca makes a temporary life among a band of mothers who are vivid, fearless, and inspiring, taking care not only of their children but of one another.

MOTHER SHIP is an intimate, raucous, sublime and electrifying memoir. It is a hymn to the sustaining power of women’s friendships, and a loving celebration of the two small girls – and their mother – who defy the odds.


Mother Ship


Once I knew that I was pregnant I was overwhelmed with thoughts of those early days with my baby, only briefly letting dark thoughts of ‘what ifs’ into my mind before dismissing them because those things only happen to other people. For some mothers, those dark thoughts become a reality when things go terribly wrong. This is the author’s personal journey when that happens to her, her husband and their newly born premature twin girls.

Written from the heart, this is a truly intimate daily journey from the moment the tiny babies are born, with skin so delicate that they can’t have clothes on or be held by their mummy and daddy. The girls, without names yet are transported to the neo-natal unit for intensive care, The Mothership, where a small community of likewise parents find comfort and hope in each other.

Every new day and night brings new challenges, heartache and celebrations as I felt privileged to get to know the other mums that kept vigil by their babies sides, they were closer than family because you had to experience this to really understand. I felt anxious and fearful for these tiny babies with an incredible will to survive the odds.

The writing feels raw with emotion, nothing held back, so many times I prayed for all these children although I knew that the time had gone already, their fate had already happened. The author praises the wonderful dedicated teams of doctors and nurses that care for the babies and rightly so. There is a very brief part of the book where the author mentions the cost of such care and just how lucky we are and I totally agree.

I felt really privileged to share the author and others journey at what must have been a terrifying time. I wish to thank NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Francesca Segal

Francesca Segal is an award-winning writer and journalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, the Guardian, the Financial Times, and both American and British Vogue, amongst others.

THE INNOCENTS won the Costa First Novel Award, the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the Sami Rohr Prize and a Betty Trask Award, and was long-listed for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize)


Twitter: @francescasegal

Mother Ship by [Segal, Francesca]

2 thoughts on “Mothership by Francesca Segal @francescasegal @vintagebooks #NetGalley #Mothership #Paediatrics #PrematureBabies

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