Book Review: The Facts Of Life by Paula Knight

That a woman’s life is bound to include having children goes without saying – except that people say it all the time.

But what if things don’t work out that way? That’s the subject of Paula Knight’s touching graphic novel.

After several miscarriages, Knight, an illustrator and writer of children’s books, and her partner decided to stop trying for a baby and start living a fulfilling life without kids.

The novel chronicles Knight’s journey to this point, from a care-free Seventies childhood, to ambivalence about motherhood in her twenties, to the heartbreaking miscarriages in her thirties, the sadness of which is made more poignant by the jaunty drawings.

But the story doesn’t end there: Knight questions why motherhood has come to be seen as so inextricably bound up with women’s identities and concludes that it doesn’t have to be this way.

As she puts it: “Childless? Childfree? Neither. Just me.” Hear hear.