Book Review – The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

BR coesI have wanted to read this book for the longest time. I haven’t read any other Dawn O’Porter books but I was aware of her. I knew her as a TV journalist with a great haircut and epic clothing taste.

I really fell in love with her when I started listening to her podcast Get It On (which I found out about whilst listening to Emma Gannon’s podcast Ctrl, Alt, Delete – both excellent, check them out) I immediately loved her relaxed attitude and honesty, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and I found her confidence inspiring. SO when I found out about this book I knew I had to read it.

Synopsis from Waterstones: Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype. Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror. When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all. Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

I loved so many things about this book but one element I really enjoyed was that, although I understood all three women, I didn’t like every decision they made. Almost especially the really uncomfortable ones, the ones I think I’d never make, I relished in reading. It made them feel like real people. I don’t like it when a writer wants to make a character seem great from all sides, like the reason they aren’t living a perfect life isn’t because of them but because of circumstance. Real people aren’t like that, we are all unlikable in some way.

I thought it was really fun and honest. One of the main themes explores reasons why women decide to be mothers or remain childless. This can seem like quite a taboo subject so I really enjoyed how much it was normalised in the narrative, why don’t we speak about this more? I find it interesting because everyone has a different opinion and it could expose a side to someone you might not agree with.

I ploughed through this book in about 4 days because I literally couldn’t put it down. I am now jealous of anyone who gets to read it for the first time – you know that feeling when you want to meet the characters all over again?

I would recommend this book to anyone, literally anyone, because it is great. Also the cover artwork is fantastic so theres that.

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