When Alice Jolly’s second child was stillborn and all subsequent attempts to have another baby failed, she began to consider every possible option, no matter how unorthodox. Shot through with humour and full of hope, Dead Babies and Seaside Towns is an intensely personal account of the search for an alternative way to create a family. As she battles through miscarriage, IVF, and failed adoption attempts, Alice finds comfort in the faded charm of Britain’s crumbling seaside towns. The journey ultimately leads her and her husband to a small town in Minnesota, and to two remarkable women who offer to make the impossible possible. In this beautifully written book, Alice Jolly describes with a novelist’s skill the events that many others have lived through—even if they may feel compelled to keep them hidden. Her decision not to hide but to share them, without a trace of self-pity, turns Dead Babies and Seaside Towns into a universal story: one that begins in tragedy but ends in joy.
“The miracle is that this powerfully written book is not only bearable but compulsively readable. It should be grim but it is absolutely not. Jolly's resolute determination to tell the whole, exhausting truth, however searing, emotional, unfashionable, unpalatable or savagely humorous, keeps is turning the pages, well into the night, and cheering her on.” —Financial Times
“Her account is astonishingly moving and her prose nothing short of hypnotic.” —Independent
“Beautifully written and brutally honest.” —Sunday Times
“So beautifully written that you can't stop reading.” —Woman and Home
“Alice Jolly’s writing is so precise and courageous it transforms her grief into a deeply powerful sense of hope and defiance.” —Rowan Pelling