Acclaimed novelist Susan Johnson found, at age thirty-five, that her desire to have a baby became overwhelming. She had no inkling what motherhood would cost -- or give -- her. But as she went on to experience pregnancy and birth, and their impact on her marriage, health, and heart, she recorded it all. In this hauntingly lovely account, Johnson portrays a woman transformed by motherhood, and a writer forever changed by a widening chasm of experience. Her initial ecstasy jostles against bewilderment, rage, and despair, however, when she develops a rare complication of childbirth; she is "a one-woman catastrophe, a small ruined country." She is also burning to get words on paper. The result, A Better Woman, should be required reading for every woman hungry to give birth -- and every mother yearning to have her deepest feelings heard.