The Cows by Dawn O’Porter. Review

I really, really, really, wanted to like this book. I love Dawn O’Porter and her Column is the first thing I read in Glamour magazine every month. When I saw she was publishing a novel championing feminism I was really excited, and when I saw it on Netgalley I jumped at the chance. 


I wasn’t wholly disappointed don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, there was just too much going on


The novel is split between 3 characters; 

Tara is a documentary producer and a single mother of a 6 year old daughter, after a hot date in a bar she does something which is going to change her life forever. 


Camilla (Cam) was one of the first people to treat her blog as a business. She’s living the high life in her million pound Victorian flat with her 28 year old lover (Cam is 36) and her ability to write great feminist posts. Right now that involves becoming ‘the face of childless women’. 


Stella is having problems getting her life together, her mother and her twin sister died within a year of each other and now she’s had some devastating news of her own. News that’s made her just a little bit crazy. 


The novel covers A LOT of issues. I kind of get why, I see why Dawn an avid feminist herself would want to write about absolutely everything. I know what that’s like because when I start talking feminism I want to blurt it all out too. But that’s unfortunately how this novel feels. Like Dawn is trying to cram every single feminist issue into one 400 page book. 


Just a smidgen of what is covered in this book: 

  • Women with younger lovers 
  • Women having casual sex 
  • Women not telling men their pregnant 
  • Women mastrubating 
  • Sexism in the workplace 
  • Feminism in different age groups 
  • Cancer 
  • Crazy people who want babies so bad they create nefarious plans 
  • The solidarity of female friendships 

These subjects all matter don’t get me wrong. They’re all important subjects, they all need addressing but the flood of them all at once made this book boring, tedious and forced at times. 


I felt like feminism was being rammed down my throat and that’s coming from me as a feminist. This book felt like that angry bra burner who physically attacks men in the street. Not to ever tell an author how to write their book but this would have worked better as 3 serials. It doesn’t work as a novel. It’s just too far fetched. 

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