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More Than a Woman Reviews

More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran

More Than a Woman

Caitlin Moran

4.36 out of 5

6 reviews

Imprint: Ebury Press
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication date: 3 Sep 2020
ISBN: 9781529102758

And, as always, WHO'S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN?Now with ageing parents, teenage daughters, a bigger bum and a To-Do list without end, Caitlin Moran is back with More Than A Woman: a guide to growing older, a manifesto for change, and a celebration of all those middle-aged women who keep the world turning.

4 stars out of 5
8 Nov 2020

"The juggle is familiar, but the take is fresh. "

The juggle is familiar, but the take is fresh. Moran riffs on everything from frying onions while ordering second-hand curtains online to sustaining interest in a scrupulously scheduled “maintenance shag”, even as she worries about bleeding the radiators. “Show me a woman frowning whilst hoovering”, she writes, “and I will show you a woman thinking about how best to set up an ISA for her niece, in case her unreliable father runs away with that strange woman she saw him with at Halfords last week.” The work of women, she points out – the caring, the planning, the vigilance, the holding together of, well, everything – still goes largely unnoticed and uncelebrated. No wonder it takes until chapter 19 (“5am: The Hour of Wanting to Change the World”) for her to begin imagining a different way of doing things.


4 stars out of 5
Ruth Scurr
27 Sep 2020

"Caitlin Moran describes the chronic crisis in adolescent mental health care"

After three suicide attempts, Moran’s daughter made a full recovery. Emerging from years of crisis, Moran found herself in a period of peacefulness, feeling like a demobbed soldier or a former prime minister on a bus. From that place of calm and strength she revisits the question, what is feminism? She has no patience for ‘sisters eating sisters’ on hypervigilant social media. She is prepared to ask ‘What about the men?’ and to open the doors of her coven to them too. If men were more like women, more able to talk and support each other, that too would contribute to a better, more feminist world. Ultimately, Moran dreams of a worldwide Women’s Union: women will be cared for as they care for others, wear whatever they want, use botox if they choose to and save one another’s lives over and over again with peals of laughter, reassuring the next generation that being a woman is difficult, but also joyous, powerful and freeing.

5 stars out of 5
Holly Williams
7 Sep 2020

"Moran proves herself, once more, a sage guide in the joys, as well as the difficult bits, of being a woman – of being a partner, mother, friend and feminist."

It’s also hard to overstate how pleasurable it is to spend time in Moran’s company: More Than a Woman is funny, life-affirming and wise. Few can match her for snorts per page or her canny knack for describing common yet unnamed experiences, be that your vagina “honking up” bathwater or the wild frustration that no one else in a household understands The Stairs System (take the stuff at the bottom up with you! Bring stuff at the top down! “It’s perfectly simple!”). When you see a woman reading this book, you will likely also see her nodding furiously... Moran proves herself, once more, a sage guide in the joys, as well as the difficult bits, of being a woman – of being a partner, mother, friend and feminist.

4 stars out of 5
Christina Patterson
6 Sep 2020

"This book is a hilarious memoir, a passionate polemic and a moving manifesto on how to be a decent person"

More Than a Woman is the older, wiser follow-up to How to Be a Woman. It has the same exuberance, the same wit, the same vim and charm. Her mode is often hyperbolic. It’s hard to believe that every single anecdote is entirely truthful and there’s the odd moment when you can’t help feeling that a tiny bit less would be a tiny bit more. Like How to Be a Woman, it will strike the most chords for women who have partners and families. For others, the absence of both will feel like yet another failure of middle age. Moran is touchingly honest about her own failures, though, and touchingly generous in her entire approach to life. 

4 stars out of 5
Sarah Ditum
29 Aug 2020

"There are drop-dead funny lines in Caitlin Moran’s fiercely honest new book on being a fortysomething woman"

The tone for the most part, though, is light. Moran is more humourist than polemicist, and there are some drop-dead funny lines here. In a riff on smear tests, the speculum is rechristened “the old Spatula of Curiosity”. She compares the addling effects of maternity to getting high (“Mum just smoked a baby”). Where More Than a Woman stumbles is in trying to be more than it can feasibly manage: a memoir, a feminist analysis, a call to arms — while being funny. But then, isn’t the middle-aged woman’s ultimate predicament that she’s trying to do too many things at once?

5 stars out of 5
Fiona Sturges
26 Aug 2020

"Threaded through the narrative is Moran’s commonsense feminism, underpinned by the principle that if men aren’t having to put up with this crap, then neither should we"

The most obvious precursor to More Than a Woman is I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron’s 2007 book in which she grumbled wittily about expensive handbags, her philandering ex-husband, failing eyesight and not having spent enough time in her youth wearing a bikini. But where Ephron’s impulse was to chronicle the often inglorious slide towards old age, Moran’s is, where possible, to celebrate and find value in it. Thus, she hails the friendships that have stretched over decades, her sudden appreciation of gardens, dog ownership and, yes, her ageing body. The delight Moran takes in her physical self – “the Womble-nose breasts that point downwards, one larger than the other; my C-section scarred belly; the Malvern Hills of my hips and thighs” – is a wonderful thing, though her wish that her female readers similarly adore their bodies may be a touch optimistic, given how deeply self-loathing can run among those conditioned to see beauty as their most vital asset.