THE WOMEN AND THE GIRLS
A novel about friendship, love, work and motherhood, 1970s style
It’s 1977, and warm, bohemian Libby Kinsella – stay-at-home mother, genius entertainer and gifted cook – is lonely. And so when two other mothers suddenly decide to leave their husbands, and move out with their children, she joins them, forming a household which is part hippy commune, and part strict group home.
Their husbands aren’t happy about it, though, and neither are their daughters.
Set against a backdrop of inner-city grunge, far-out parties and Abba songs, The Women and The Girls is a funny, questioning and moving novel about friendship, work, family, and freedom.
Published by Allen & Unwin
Reviews for The Women and the Girls
'Laura Bloom has such a unique talent for modern historical fiction and this time it was a joy to be catapulted back to the 1970s. When I turned the last page I was so sad to say goodbye to her beautifully observed characters. A delight from start to finish!Liane Moriarty
The Women and the Girls follows three mothers as they walk away from their unhappy marriages and move their children into a share house in Sydney. Against a backdrop of 1970s misogyny Libby, Anna and Carol find new ways to navigate motherhood and friendship. In this lighthearted novel, Laura Bloom rejects the traditional rom-com, opting to instead follow a more contemporary journey of self-reckoning as each of the women discovers who they are when they are no longer defined completely by ‘wife or ‘mother’. The narrative moves quickly – on the same night that Carol decides to leave her threatening, overbearing husband, Anna discovers that hers is gay and Libby has a lightning-fast confrontation with her own marital dissatisfaction that also sees her running out the door. This narrative construct asside, it is refreshing to see who these women become in each other’s presence. The changes in the way they see each other and themselves will be familiar to all who have found comfort belonging in the presence of chosen family rather than a prescribed one.
The subplot involving the shifting friendships between their children adds a level of complexity to Libby, Anna and Carol’s choises and interactions with each other, although their individual stories perhaps need more room to play out. At times Bloom’s observations about the way that wives and mothers were treated by society are articulated in a way that reads too contemporary for the novel’s 70s setting, but these observations are also a large part of the book’s appeal. Fans of Lianne Moriarty will enjoy this friendship driven romp.
Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne writer and academic and the schools programmer at the Wheeler Centre.Books+PublishingBec Kavanagh
Mika & Max
A book for readers 10+
A story about a girl who meets a boy who changes everything
“Short, sharp and wholly powerful. A precious little wonder of a book.”
The Dream Riders Series
Without a saddle or a bridle, all that’s left is the truth.
In a small country town where everyone comes to be different, four young teens who don’t fit in break away from the rules of Pony Club, to learn about natural horsemanship, at the magical equestrian centre, Pocket of Dreams. It’s a skill the young people must draw on in every aspect of their lives, as they face their own challenges, and share adventures beyond their imagining.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Children’s Literature Peace Prize.
Laura Bloom – Author
Laura Bloom has written nine bestselling and critically acclaimed adult and children’s novels.
Intimate and honest. Passionate, real and compelling, Bloom’s work is intelligent writing, with strong plots, complex characters and complete emotional truth.
‘This is compelling fiction’
Cameron Woodhead, The Age
‘A masterpiece of drama and characterisation.’
Alan Gold, The Australian