Three different women, each facing challenging turning points in their lives, are brought together through a series of random, and at times utterly excruciating, circumstances.

Tara, Cam and Stella are just ordinary women facing up to humiliating, life-changing, challenging and heartbreaking situations life is throwing at them.

As their lives intertwine, and they face up to what being a woman, and a feminist, in modern society is like, their journeys are both hilarious and utterly devastating at the same time.

I became completely absorbed with the characters and twisty-turny plot of this book immediately. I laughed, I cried, my eyes widened with utter horror and then I laughed some more.

This is my first book sent to me as part of the Mumsnet Book Club and wow do I feel lucky to have found this one.

Dawn O’Porter weaves the narrative of each character’s journey beautifully together, taking you on a rollercoaster of emotions as they each experience the highs and lows of life as a woman.

Tara is a single mum to six-year-old Annie. She’s a fab mum, and kicks arse at work, but wants to find love. Just when everything appears to be going great, something so horrifyingly invasive, dreadful and downright mortifying happens to her that her entire life is turned upside down and inside out.

Cam is a blogger (hooray!) who doesn’t want kids, not because she hates kids, or the women who have kids, but she simply does not want them. I absolutely loved reading the insights into Cam’s thoughts as a childfree woman of choice, who is more than happy to live her life without giving in to the pressure of ticking biological clocks.

Although I may not feel the same way as her, I nodded and cheered internally as she stuck up for women who have chosen not to have children everywhere.

Then there’s Stella, a woman who O’Porter’s brought to life with brutally honest words illustrating a troubled and spiky character, who on the face of it we should hate but in fact you cannot help but root for as much as the other characters.

Stella’s story is about grief, loss and facing up to an uncertain, and bleak future.

As Tara attempts to piece together the shattered pieces of her life, she finds herself seeing everything in a whole new light.

I couldn’t wait to reach the end of The Cows to find out how things played out for every character. And then when it was over, I was gutted the journey had come to an end.

This book celebrates the differences in women, as well as the similarities. While keeping me at the edge of my seat as I followed the ups and downs of these fascinating characters’ lives, the novel also highlighted issues being faced by real women today.

These three women made me feel prouder to be female than I have done in a long time. So beautifully flawed, honest and strong, this was such an insightful and witty look into the mind, and world, of women.

While the book has male characters, this story isn’t about men saving women. It’s about women saving each other, and themselves. The men are there, it’s not that they aren’t important and valued by the female characters, it’s just that this is about women finding their own voice, strength and the bonds of sisterhood.

For a funny, thought-provoking and brilliantly observed book, look no further than The Cows. I cannot wait to see what Dawn O’Porter writes next!

Have you read the book? What did you think? Please leave me recommendations below, as I am always looking for something new to get stuck into!

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Book review: The Cows by Dawn O'Porter

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