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Bar Bar Book Club: Review of The Cows by Dawn O'Porter

We've given it two stars ...

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Bar Bar Book Club members always know when we have had a good discussion when the meeting runs longer than an hour ...

Bar Bar Book Club think this is a perfect book to read by the pool!

Bar Bar Book Club think this is a perfect book to read by the pool!

click here to buy this book on amazon

Our discussion well and truly did on Monday 8th April when we came together to talk about The Cows by Dawn O'Porter. It definitely split the members in their opinions and thoughts about the book. According to Amazon, "The Cow's' is 'fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O'Porter is the book that everybody needs to read right now".

In all honesty, you don't need to rush to read it at all. It left the Book Club members feeling slightly annoyed and not empowered as a woman in any way, shape or form. It is funny, but for all the wrong reasons.

The book is about three women: "A whole world of judgement. Tara, Cam and Stella are very different women. Yet in a society that sets the agenda, there's something about being a woman that ties invisible bonds between us.

When one extraordinary event rockets Tara to online infamy, their three worlds collide in ways they could never imagine - and they discover that one woman's catastrophe might just be another's inspiration. Through friendship and conflict, difference and likeness, they'll learn to find their own voices."

'The Cows' was an easy read some members completed in a day. It was as if it was dumbed down to make it accessible, almost had a 'chick lit' or 'holiday read' vibe about it. Which is very different from the way the book was marketed. I think we expected it to be a politically charged, feminist view of the world expressing female strength. In all reality, it categorised women to be either a mother or a loose woman ... no middle ground. It had a very 'black and white' perception of the world; 'wrong' or 'right'; ' can' or can't'.

We thought the book highlighted the theme of 'shame' and made us question the change of viral material in the present climate of the world. It seemed quite dated to us and maybe wouldn't stand the test of time in the future. In simple terms, we felt the book was quite ridiculous, and other comments included 'shallow', 'simple', 'Meh', 'cliche' and 'unbelievable'.

I think we had quite high expectations of the book due to its quirky marketing campaign, the interesting style and imagery of the cover. But it comes down to the simple saying, "don't judge a book by its cover" ... literally!

"We scored the book 2 out of 5 stars!"

It was an easy read, but some ridiculous views and plot twists. Perfect for reading by the pool. Our next meeting of Bar Bar Book Club is on Monday 13th May at 7:00pm where we will be discussing 'The Dice Man' by Luke Rhineart. Want to join us?

Until next time ...


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More about Georgia Tillery-Randak ...

Georgia grew up in Milton Keynes interested in drama and performance from a young age. She left MK to attend LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) where she studied Community Drama.

During her time in Liverpool, she absorbed the Arts and Culture scene of the city and feel in love with vibrancy and diversity of the arts there. She also studied at ITI (International Theatre Institute) in Singapore where she observed and researched mime and physical theatre as part of a placement.

On returning to Milton Keynes after graduating, along with Danny, they set up Black Sheep Collective CIC in order to fill the gap in the arts scene of Milton Keynes.

Since setting up the organisation, Georgia has written and directed several fringe theatre shows including 'Where's Alice?' and 'Who's Alice?' a twisted adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and most recently 'The Cagebirds' by David Campton. She has established her own style of work nurturing and guiding young talent. She manages and facilitates the Black Sheep creative learning and community outreach program both in Milton Keynes and Northampton.

Georgia is always striving to push the boundaries with her work, allowing opportunities for an audience to question and challenge their beliefs also with an alternative dark twist.


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