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21 Miles

Narrated by: Jessica Hepburn
Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

After a decade of trying to become a mother - 11 rounds of unsuccessful IVF, multiple miscarriages and a pregnancy which proved almost fatal - Jessica Hepburn knew it was time to do something different. 

So she decided to swim the 21 miles across the English Channel - no easy feat, especially for someone with an aversion to exercise who couldn't swim very well. As the punishing training commenced, Jessica learned you need to put on weight to stave off the cold. This then led to another idea: what if she wrote to a collection of inspiring women, asking if they would meet and eat with her to answer the question: does motherhood make you happy? 

The response was overwhelming. From baronesses and professors to award winners and record-breakers, amazing women from different walks of life - some mothers, some not - all with compelling truths to tell about female fulfilment and the meaning of motherhood. On 2 September 2015, Jessica set out from Dover beach in the dark, taking the words that each of the women had given to sea in her bid to answer the question.

©2018 Jessica Hepburn (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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    5 out of 5 stars

So much goodness in this!

I loved this book. Every moment of it. The reading of it by the author was a rhythmically honest performance, and the story drew me along with each sentence, each stroke, each mile. The people she met, the lives that became known, the insights given, the wisdom shared. I didn’t want it to come to an end.

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A compelling read with long lasting messages

This audiobook was all the better for being performed by Jessica Hepburn herself. She tells her story well, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but each chapter ends in a thought-provoking way.
The 21 interviews asking the question "does motherhood make you happy" are fascinating and leave you re-examining your own thoughts and feelings.
This audiobook is a great listen for all women, especially those facing unwanted childlessness. It is an uplifting sequel to the sadness of her first book about her fertility journey.
Separately this book is a fascinating listen for anyone wanting to understand the how and why of swimming the channel!

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  • 26-10-19

Great book

I loved this book it was so interesting and inspiring - a great listen it is really uplifting to listen to the different paths to motherhood

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A truly inspirational story.

I read Jessica Hepburn's first book 'The Pursuit of Motherhood' which chronicled the many years and multiple rounds of IVF she undertook in her quest to have a baby. This book follows what she did next. For anyone who has gone through IVF and infertility it's a must read, however Jessica considers the subject of motherhood and what makes us happy in a broad way that I think could appeal to anyone who is interested in pondering these fundamental questions. She also teams this with her training to swim the channel and the pain, endurance and sometimes joy she experiences along the way. I think anyone can appreciate the grit and determination needed to undertake this huge feat of physical and mental endurance and will be cheering her along until the end. A truly inspirational story, beautifully written and left me with a lump in my throat many times. A must read which I will be recommending to friends and family.

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Funny, delicious & insightful

I listened to this book trying to figure out if I want to have children or not. I couldn’t have asked for a better book on this. Jessica handles this content with the respect, care, candour and kindness it deserves. Best of all, she’s not prescriptive, I feel sure each person will listen to this book and leave with the answer that works for them. Brilliant, thank you!

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Moving and monumental I loved it.

I loved this book from beginning to end.I was in awe of Jessica's achievements. i would definitely recommend.

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Excellently written, profoundly delivered

I didn't know what to expect initially. I'm glad I listened. Everyone should read this. It needs to be shared.