All My Wild Mothers


Struggling with the grief of the death of her sister, the demands of caring for her young son, and the impact of austerity, Victoria Bennet moves to a new social housing estate in rural Cumbria, constructed over an industrial site. There, she and her son set about transforming their rubble-strewn backyard into a wild apothecary garden.

Author's Biography

Victoria Bennett is a poet and author. Her writing has received a Northern Debut Award, a Northern Promise Award, the Andrew Waterhouse Award, and has been longlisted for the Penguin WriteNow programme and the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize for under-represented voices. She founded Wild Women Press in 1999 to support rural women writers in her community, and since 2018 has curated the global Wild Woman Web project.


‘An impossibly moving memoir of gardens, herbalism, and the rigours and rewards of care. It asks what we might be willing to sacrifice for an artistic life, and what we lose of our selves when we attend to the needs of others before our own. It heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in nature writing’ Cal Flyn, award-winning author of ‘Islands of Abandonment’ and ‘Thicker Than Water’

‘Lyrical and beautiful and feels like a haven in a cynical world – exactly the book we all need to read right now’ Catherine Simpson, author of One Body: A Retrospective, When I Had A Little Sister and Truestory

‘A book of passionate resistance to everything in modern life that wants us to stay neat and small and fearful’ Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure For Sleep

‘Witnessing a mother nurture her son and her garden so tenderly while grappling with grief and the responsibilities of a carer was an unexpectedly beautiful and life-affirming experience. A memoir written with tremendous care for the reader too’ Jini Reddy, author of Wanderland


  1. One of those books you have to force yourself to put down so you don’t finish it. Fascinating notes on wild plants; a gentle memoir of loss but also of coping and getting through. Families, healing, friendships, all mixed together with overcoming challenges. Inspiring.

  2. Raw and beautiful. A powerful thought-provoking memoir of grief, loss, pain, nature and new beginnings. A stunningly intimate journey of the lows and highs of life and death, illness and health, and the small victories of an apothecary garden are woven together wonderfully.

  3. A treasure. Couldn’t put it down.

  4. An absolutely life-changing read filled with poetry, heartbreak and enriching words of healing. Utterly outstanding!!!!

  5. Highly recommended.

  6. Inspirational!

  7. A great book.

  8. An absolutely beautiful book which helped me reconnect with myself and my garden. A very moving memoir, I would highly recommend it.

  9. A stunning, quietly subversive alchemy of fierce love & rooting connection in the world, through plants; and the land we’re on, but do not own.

  10. Such a beautiful, moving book, showing how such a depth of love exists between generations. It reduced me to tears at times, but don’t be put off by that, it contains such wonderful seeds of hope.

  11. A beautifully crafted memoir. Stunning. An absolute must read!

  12. Read, vote and comment!

  13. A beautiful, moving memoir that reminds us just how important and healing it is for us all to reconnect with the natural world.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *