We caught up with our very own Margaret Reynolds to talk about her new Penguin book The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging.
Professor Reynolds has recently been featured in The Guardian and the Telegraph and has interviews with Talk Radio, Times Radio, Monocle Radio, about the book and her experiences of adoption and writing the book with her daughter Lucy.
Here’s what she could tell us…
Tell us about your new book ‘The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging’. How did it come about and what can readers expect?
I adopted my daughter 12 years ago when she was six. And from the first, I used to jot down things that happened to us, little stories about our lives together. Then two years ago I heard a couple of things that reminded me how hard adoption can be, how often (very sadly) it does not work out. But we were still here! So I wanted to encourage others, so show how amazing and important adoption can be in helping children – who necessarily have difficult beginnings – in going on to make a success of their lives.
How has it been working with your daughter on the book? What do you think the book has to say to mothers around the world?
I showed the original version of the book to someone who said ‘don’t you think Lucy should have a voice?’. And I knew he was right! Politically, ethically it is always right to listen to the voices of children. So I asked her to write some sections. In fact, it was great doing this. We have talked a lot about our different experiences and about the things we share.
Mothers are all different. Always, everywhere. There is no such thing as one ‘motherhood’. But there might be overlaps, and there might illumination and there might be a shared understanding, a recognition and acceptance which could be a positive for both mothers and children.
What 3 books would you recommend to readers after reading your book of course?
Are there any lockdown lifelines that have kept you going in the last year?
Growing vegetables, going for long walks with our dog, watching classic films, cooking, noticing the seasons, planning a long trip to remote Greek islands.