The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

The world flips and changes constantly, the best we can do is remain ourselves.

Reading this was like a fucking roller-coaster ride. It started with a bit of intrigue, I was liking bits of the characters but then it started to annoy me (in fact it annoyed the hell out of me how she put Cam in 3rd person while Tara and Stella were in 1st person, why??). Then hate started to rear its ugly head. Is this a feminist book? What does feminism even mean in the modern world? Why would you put some despicable characters in a feminist book? Then I was like: “oh yes, I see what she wanted to do, she wanted to put some real women out there, that’s good. the cows2We need some of that in literature”. And then tremendous hate (I still hate you Down, why did you do that to Cam? WHY????? The only fucking character I kind of liked, the only character I kind of seen myself in and you use your pen so cruelly. I hate you, did you hear that??). It goes on to a tearful state and then even disappointment. What the actual fuck? Dear Dawn, I have enough adventure as it is, in my life; I don’t really need more of that in the books I read too. I need at least a bit of peace, ok?!

Rating undefined. How the heck do I rate this emotional tumult? I wanted to give it 2 stars, cause you know, I really thought the characters were so despicable, so horrible human beings. Then I kind of understood some of her intentions and for all the turmoil she made me live, I thought she was brilliant as a writer. But then again I was down to maybe 2 stars for not The cows3skipping the boy meets girl line of story with a happy ending, blah. I believe she wanted to create a storm, and she achieved that. A bit sensationalist, a bit of a soap opera(me not happy!!), yet I cannot dismiss all the brilliant points so well put forward, ideas that I myself believe! So yea, I cannot make up my mind (so stereotypical female, right?!); won’t you read it and help me make up my mind? :p

In term of plot, the story follows 3 female characters over a short period of time, yet a very tempestuous period.

Stella – PA. Grief stricken. Refuses to deal with anything that happened to her. Runs from her life and herself. Completely bonkers.

Tara – Documentary maker, single mom. A relatively strong female with a fair share of mistakes under her belt. Her biggest mistake to date plummets her into a general hysteria, humiliation, turns her life upside down with bleak prospects of recovering from it.

Cam – the successful blogger. Confident, child free, with a glorious fuck buddy. While she will recognize her fear of socializing and she might even consider she feels alone, she will not acknowledge her attachment fear, which ultimately will be her undoing.

There is no judgement to be made on Stella as I thought she was really mentally deranged and that pretty much explains much of her behaviour. Tara on the other hand was kind of detestable, in my view. Starting with the moral mistake committed upon her daughter’s conception; using her to get out of situations when she just couldn’t stand up for herself and culminating with the incident that put her in the limelight. She did save herself and managed to turn everything around while learning a hard lesson and for that I believe she deserved redemption.

And then is Cam! While her life style is almost at the opposite poll from mine, I really warmed up to her. I loved her feminism, if I can use this controversial word. I loved how confident she was. So unafraid to admit her views, to talk about her choice of life style. All her work to 

the cows4

empower woman. And I mean real empowerment. “[…]Stop using victim language like, ‘because I am a woman’ and ‘being a woman is hard because’ at the start of every sentence about your success or lack of.”; “Women can’t keep complaining about how society treats them if they just take being told they’re wrong all the time and don’t react” “so let’s live by the words we preach rather than just say them on social media, let’s be active in making a change.” So many lovely speeches from her and I truly wanted to see how she would deal with everything…I really don’t understand the why behind her fate …

I also liked all the modern issues explored in the novel. Like the impact of the internet, how it can make you or brake you. Online abuse versus “real”bullying: “ […] suddenly realize how insignificant online bullying is in comparison to when it is happening to your actual face.” Admirable how certain double standards got exposed: for example how easy it is for a woman to get out of paying for her mistakes in comparison with men, who are not that lucky to get away only with a public shaming. 

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