Saturday, 30 January 2021

Book Review: The Women and the Girls by Laura Bloom

The Women and the Girls 
Laura Bloom

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 19th January 2021 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction  
Pages: 344
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book
Three friends. Three marriages left behind. Life begins in earnest.

It's 1977, and warm, bohemian Libby - stay-at-home mother, genius entertainer and gifted cook - is lonely. When she meets Carol, who has recently emigrated from London with her controlling husband and is feeling adrift, and Anna, who loves her career but not her marriage, the women form an unexpected bond.

Their husbands aren't happy about it, and neither are their daughters.

Set against a backdrop of inner-city grunge and 70s glamour, far-out parties and ABBA songs, The Women and The Girls is a funny, questioning and moving novel about love, friendship, work, family, and freedom.
My review
The Women and the Girls was everything it promised to be; A funny, probing and moving novel filled with the music, clothes, hair and food of the time, encapsulating everything that made the 70’s unforgettable. A truly nostalgic trip for those of an age to remember the era.
Three women all at a cross-roads in their lives, unhappy in their marriages for varying reasons come together to support each other when each decide to leave their husbands on the same night.
The Women and the Girls is not only a story about marriage and the importance of female friendships it also highlights the constraints on women during the 70’s and reveals it as a time of great social change for women and a step closer to equality.
Laura Bloom has created three very different women from different backgrounds and thrown them together by the fact that their daughters are in the same class at school. To begin with the women don’t even like each other. 
I loved how Bloom threw these women together into one house and left them to work through their differences. Add in one conniving husband bent on destroying the friendship and four tweenage girls, and lets see how the women deal with this.
Libby, Carol and Anna were strong women for their time. A time when women were just learning to be assertive and most could only dream of leaving a troubled marriage. I know this was meant to be a lighthearted look at women, marriage and the 70’s but I personally think it came across as a little too easy and convenient for the women to leave, having ready accommodation and babysitters.  
4½ / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐½
About the author
Photo: Goodreads
 Laura Bloom is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels for adults and children, including The Cleanskin, which was described in The Australian as 'a masterpiece of drama and characterisation'. Her novels have been shortlisted for many awards, including the NSW Premier's Awards. Laura is also an award-winning screenwriter, and many of her novels have been optioned for film and TV. She is based in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Challenges entered: Australian Women Writers challenge #AWW2021
and Aussie Author Challenge #AussieAuthor21
Other books I've reviewed by Laura Bloom
 The Cleanskin