Unborn Beauty, edited by Rochelle Manners

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when I received this book for review. I can now tell you, it is a delight. The poems and stories contained within are as varied as the contributors. The book includes well know poets like Fee Sievers, Andrew Lansdown and Jude Aquilina among others, as well as names not familiar to me. Among a predominance of women who are mothers and grandmothers sharing their experiences, it was good to see a few guys brave enough to submit poems, stories and illustrations as well.

Some of the stories and poems are humorous. Yoda, by Margaret Pearce was one that tickled my funny bone. Position Vacant, by Nicholas Clark was another. Others, like Before Anyone Knew You, by Eve Adams or The Conversation by Elizabeth Sproule will tug at your heart strings and bring tears to your eyes. Or they did mine, anyway.

Even though I’m not a knitter, as a Nanna myself to two special individuals, I appreciated the thoughts behind How Much Love? by Fiona Johnston. Rochelle is to be congratulated, as this book is beautifully presented with its cartoon style artwork on some pages and more detailed sketches and paintings on others that enhance the text. The book also includes a number of pages of useful resources like the contact details of pregnancy support and counselling centres and the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

It’s lovely to see a book, which positively re-enforces the joy of birth and parenthood. At $19.95 it would make an inexpensive, but I’m sure treasured, gift for any new Mum.

Unborn Beauty – Celebrating Pregnancy and Parenthood, edited by Rochelle Manners
Wombat Books