3.5★ “‘You need a change. I think you should do something radical,’ Annalise had said. ‘Get an undercut with patterns shaved into it! Dye it blue!’
‘Are you kidding me? You could get away with shaving the side of your head, I’d just look like I’d been in a terrible accident or had brain surgery.’”
Poppy is a happily married young woman whose life changes instantly when the rug is pulled out from under her. She’s got a good job, has no kids, plays competitive soccer, and finds a new bestie at work in Annalise (who suggests the makeover above).
She and Annalise are getting fed up with the married women who take family time off, leave work early to pick kids up, and generally seem to take advantage of motherhood to wangle free time and expect the single women to pick up the slack.
There is a Facebook group for mums, so they decided to start one for women without kids so they can support each other in their wish to NOT have children for reasons of their own. They want a place where they can speak freely without having to listen to some well-meaning friend or mother or sister warning them they aren’t getting any younger and they’ll change their minds.
Get-togethers with family or friends all mean going somewhere the kids can play, and yell, and spill food on everyone. Poppy and Annalise just want some child-free zones where they can have a coffee and conversation without having to listen to tantrums or be bumped by prams.
Well, not just coffee. The wine flows fairly freely, but to be fair, a lot of it is being consumed by frazzled mums. As a wine-lover who regularly suffers through DryJuly, I feel a little like this myself sometimes.
“One day every week, Annalise doesn’t drink. She figures it’s pretty impressive – her level of restraint. People ought to hold a parade for her. One day out of seven when she doesn’t consume alcohol.”
There are side stories, back stories, and sneaky business with women infiltrating each other’s Facebook groups and starting rumours. It's duelling Facebook posts at 20 paces. Women are a funny lot.
“Sometimes that’s what a new friendship between women was like – a touch of flirtatiousness. Mutual attraction. Didn’t have to be sexual. Could be if you wanted it.”
I very much enjoyed the beginning, I liked the believable characters, and I thought it had a promising storyline. Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised by the ‘secret’ story, and the way one of the women stumbles across it is far too convenient. I expected more.
There will be plenty of readers who will enjoy the way everything ties up neatly at the end, I’m sure. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Australia for the copy for review.