Alice Kinsella

09 March 2023
368 pages


'Sublime' - Donal Ryan, author of Strange Flowers
'Here is a writer who matters' - The Irish Times
'A book about the raw, riotous, brutally beautiful act of being alive.' - Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Thin Places
'Milk is a raw, unvarnished journey down the mothering rabbit hole' The Irish Independent

Alice Kinsella was in her mid-twenties when she became pregnant with her first child, newly engaged and about to embark on a life in an unfamiliar town on the west coast of Ireland. Into this warm cocoon, this big, empty house, would arrive a little baby. And soon Alice's world began to expand and contract in ways she could never have imagined.

With her body struggling to recover, darker intrusions ran through the days and nights of new motherhood. For the first time, she considered the experiences of her mother, her grandmother, and the generations of women who came before them. She asked herself questions. How does this country treat its mothers? What does it mean to be forever tethered? Forever in love?

Set against the backdrop of a seemingly changed Ireland, in Milk Alice draws for us her own map of motherhood. Intimate, warm, startlingly vivid and gentle, this is at once a delicate reflection on a moment of gigantic change in body and mind and a powerful, often painful confrontation of the politics of a country so deeply unsure about its women.

One of The Irish Times' 'Best Books to Look Forward to in 2023'

A radiant, meditative, truly powerful and beautiful book.
'A compelling and moving account of [Kinsella's] initiation into, and life experiencing motherhood following the birth of her first child in her mid-20s . . . Sharp, brutal, unrelenting, vivid, capturing moments and emotions in the experience and psychology of motherhood, its demands, exhaustion, evocation of mortality, fears and sources of guilt as well as its joys . . . On the strength of this powerful, visceral, memorable, touching and, above all, beautifully rendered prose debut, there is little doubt Kinsella's compelling voice will be listened to: here is a writer who matters'
This is a book for the ages. It truly is mesmeric, stunningly beautiful, open and intense, revelatory and generous. I love the short bursts, and the sublime way that Alice ranges through life, mental health, art, society, and all the vast complexities, the dangers, the 'pull and sway' of motherhood. I knew what an incredible writer Alice was before I started but this surpasses my highest expectations.