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Body Full of Stars

Female Rage and My Passage Into Motherhood

Molly Caro May


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (4/9/2019)


"In this honest memoir, May recounts how she came to feel connected with her body again. It's a moving work for new moms about a subject that is often overlooked in conversations about postpartum depression." --Real Simple

Molly Caro May grapples with questions of grief and rage as she undergoes several unexpected health issues after the birth of her first child. Body Full of Stars both reveals deeper truths about how disconnected many modern women are from their bodies and celebrates the greatest story of all time: mothers and daughters, partners and co-parents, and the feminine power surging beneath it all.

Counterpoint LLC, 9781619024892, 272pp.

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

About the Author

MOLLY CARO MAY is the author of The Map of Enough. She received a writing fellowship at the Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Center, and her work has appeared in Salon, The Hairpin, Orion, and Fourth Genre. After living in six countries and eight U.S. states, she has now made a home in Montana, where she lives with her husband, two young daughters, and Great Dane mutt. Find out more at

Conversation Starters from

1. The book opens with two epigraphs, one of which states, “what we profoundly need are rituals that take into regard the blood, the shock, the heat, the shit, the anguish, the irritation, the glory, the earnestness of the female body.” Later, May details how she makes “space to go within every single day,” imagining herself with a weighted yoke around her body. What do you think this ritual of “going within” means for May? Do you have your own rituals toward your body, gender, or family? How else can catharsis be possible for mothers and women more generally?

2. May frequently goes into nature when emotionally or physically distraught. Why do you think that is? What is the connection, if any, between the experience of postpartum and going outdoors?

3. Discuss the presence of rage and femininity in Body Full of Stars. How do rage and femininity interact in this book? How do they impact Molly’s beginning as a mother?

4. Did Body Full of Stars portray rage in way you haven’t read before? Why do you believe female anger is so under-voiced?

 5. Body Full of Stars examines the difficult and frequently unspoken-of topic of postpartum struggles. How might this memoir be a resource for new parents, doctors, nurses, and others? Why is it important to speak frankly on this subject?

6. If you are a parent, what kind of reactions did you have while reading Body Full of Stars? If you aren’t a parent, did your reading of this memoir differ from those of the parents in the group and, if so, how?

7. Discuss May’s style of writing. Does it differ from other books you’ve read about parenthood, birth, and transition? How? What impact does the style have on your experience reading the book?