A 49TH SHELF BEST BOOK OF 2022
Dispatches from modern motherhood by a reluctant suburbanite
Send Me Into The Woods Alone is an honest, heartfelt, and often hilarious collection of essays on the joys, struggles, and complexities of motherhood.
These essays touch on the major milestones of raising children, from giving birth (and having approximately a million hands in your vagina) and taking your beautiful newborn home (and feeling like you’ve stolen your baby from the hospital), to lying to kids about the Tooth Fairy and mastering the subtle art of beating children at board games. Plus the pitfalls of online culture and the #winemom phenomenon, and the unattainable expectations placed on mothers today.
Written from the perspective of an always tired, often anxious, and reluctant suburbanite who is doing her damn best, these essays articulate one woman’s experience in order to help mothers of all kinds process the wildly variable, deeply different ways in which being a mom changes our lives.
Erin Pepler is a freelance writer who lives in the greater Toronto area with her husband and two kids. Her work has appeared in Today’s Parent, ParentsCanada, SavvyMom, Romper, Scary Mommy, MoneySense, Broadview Magazine and more. You can find Erin on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as at erinpepler.com.
“This is the book I wish I had had as a companion during those early, difficult months and early, difficult years. Because this book is not just instructive and insightful, it is great company. And hilarious” —Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail
“Send Me into the Woods Alone isn’t your average essay collection about motherhood. Erin Pepler shares moments of unconditional love and great joy; however, these aren’t what set this book apart. It’s the messiest moments that make this book memorable…Most importantly, Pepler writes about the times when she felt that she failed her children, providing tangible examples that many readers will find comforting and relatable. At fewer than 200 pages, Send Me into the Woods Alone is a quick read with short, digestible chapters. It’s perfect for any busy parent who is looking to steal a few minutes to read by themselves. In fact, as Pepler writes in the book’s eponymous chapter, escaping from parenthood is a privilege that is sometimes essential. “Walk away, but not too far,” she writes. “Love your family hard, but don’t forget to make space to love yourself.”—Herizons
“With her funny and fierce new book, Send Me into the Woods Alone: Essays on Motherhood, Pepler is leading the charge for 100 per cent honest parenting stories.”—Briony Smith, Toronto Star
“Tremendously moving, but also very funny—I kept reading parts aloud to whoever happened to be in the room with me. Like motherhood itself, Send Me Into The Woods Alone is equal-parts light and dark, joy and misery, [a] writer who’s unafraid to be complicated and tell the truth.”—Kerry Clare
“Erin Pepler’s collection of honest, funny, and relatable essays are infused with hard-won wisdom and insights into the strange, difficult and wonderful world of motherhood. Reading Pepler’s essays is like hanging out with your best mom-friend—the one who puts it all out there, makes you feel normal and has you laughing so hard you pee a bit.”—Kim Shiffman, editor-in-chief, Today’s Parent
“Calling a collection of parenting essays Send Me Into the Woods Alone is a stroke of genius, but Erin Pepler doesn’t spend all of her truth-telling humor on the title. Her witty, warm stories will make you laugh in recognition at the absurd contradictions, frustrations, and complexities of modern motherhood / life in general. With a rare dry humor, Erin gives herself, and her reader, the space to—gasp!—complain about some of the less thrilling parts of parenting, and to acknowledge that it’s always “okay to not feel okay.” She even cheerfully recognizes the sheer boredom that we’d all like to pretend doesn’t exist. (When I read, “Chutes and Ladders is not a game, it’s a curse,” I gave a silent cheer). On the next page, though, you’ll find yourself with a sudden lump in your throat when she deftly captures the mysterious, fierce love that, thankfully, also comes with the territory”—April Daniels Hussar, Managing Editor, Romper
“A kind and compassionate book that acknowledges all the emotional heavy lifting that is motherhood. Send Me Into the Woods Alone is the perfect antidote to that guilt-inducing social media post that has you questioning every parenting decision you’ve ever made and/or your decision to become a parent at all. Erin Pepler understands the struggle and she’s there to offer a well-timed message of encouragement, just when you need it most. Easily the most validating book you’ll read this year.”—Ann Douglas, author of Happy Parents, Happy Kids and The Mother of All Pregnancy Books
“Send Me Into The Woods Alone is one of the most supportive books on parenting I’ve ever read. It’s insightful, heartwarming and oh-so-funny. This is a must-read for mothers.”—Shannon Lee Simmons, author of Worry-Free Money
“It’s not often you read a book about parenting that is as intimate and honest as Send Me Into The Woods Alone: Essays on Motherhood. Pepler showcases her vulnerability and insight on every page, all salted with humour and relatability. As a parent you will identify with Pepler’s personal journey through motherhood through her 28 essays. You will commiserate with some and be an observer on others. Either way, you will fully enjoy every word knowing that you are not alone. Pepler’s got you!”—Jane Bradley, Publisher of ParentsCanada