Hot Best Seller

The Women and the Girls

Availability: Ready to download

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. T 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. A kind of Monkey Grip meets 'Nine to Five', The Women and The Girls explores the price - and the rewards - of family and friendship in the Age of Aquarius - and at the dawning of the Age of Divorce. '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


Compare

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. T 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. A kind of Monkey Grip meets 'Nine to Five', The Women and The Girls explores the price - and the rewards - of family and friendship in the Age of Aquarius - and at the dawning of the Age of Divorce. '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

30 review for The Women and the Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Late 70's Sydney comes alive in this fabulous story by Laura Bloom. Think fondue, ABBA concerts and wild fashion. The Women and The Girls is full of vibrant characters who will get into your heart. It was fun and realistic and I really really enjoyed it. A great summer read. 3 very different women and a night that changes their lives forever. It is the night that ABBA came to town (and what would I would give to have been there - rain and thunderstorm and all!!) and the night that these women dec Late 70's Sydney comes alive in this fabulous story by Laura Bloom. Think fondue, ABBA concerts and wild fashion. The Women and The Girls is full of vibrant characters who will get into your heart. It was fun and realistic and I really really enjoyed it. A great summer read. 3 very different women and a night that changes their lives forever. It is the night that ABBA came to town (and what would I would give to have been there - rain and thunderstorm and all!!) and the night that these women decide that enough is enough. Libby's husband is a workaholic Carol's husband is controlling and Anna's husband think of any excuse to avoid touching her. These 3 women and their children suddenly become housemates and learn to live again. The 70's is a time to be yourself. They break away from unhappiness and finally have the chance to do what they want. But what do they want? Life for a women at this time wasn't always easy, they were still seen as the housewife to stay home and look after the kids. But they want more. Thanks to Allen and Unwin for sending this book my way. It was a great read, it made me laugh and it made me cry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    This is an enjoyable novel about 3 women who all decide to leave their husbands pretty much on the same day (the day of an Abba concert!) for different reasons and different levels of emergency. Set in 1977 in inner city Sydney, (she makes up a suburb , Sandgate but it seems like Glebe to me) when women didn’t have the same rights they have today. They all have children and they all end up sharing a terrace (so lucky one of the women has a spare investment property!). The relationships between t This is an enjoyable novel about 3 women who all decide to leave their husbands pretty much on the same day (the day of an Abba concert!) for different reasons and different levels of emergency. Set in 1977 in inner city Sydney, (she makes up a suburb , Sandgate but it seems like Glebe to me) when women didn’t have the same rights they have today. They all have children and they all end up sharing a terrace (so lucky one of the women has a spare investment property!). The relationships between the women is well written and I enjoyed their journeys but why set it in the seventies and not really explore the sexism etc of the time? The author mentions things like the women’s shelter but doesn’t go there, hints at sexism in the workplace, points out women need their husbands signature to open bank accounts and one husband cancels his wife’s passport and she’d need him to get a new one but there’s no real reference to any activists, literature or music of the time. So it’s set in the 70s more for feel good reasons (Abba) not to highlight the feminist issues. I’m sure the intention is to write an enjoyable book and it is, I guess my tastes are for a more gritty, hard hitting story if you are going to set your book in these situations.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)

    ⭐️4.5 Stars⭐️ Well written, witty and totally engaging The Women and the Girls by Laura Bloom was a delight to read! Set in Sydney in the 70’s era the story revolves around three mothers who have a connection through their children’s school. It’s a family drama about friendships, divorce and a celebration of women. Libby, Carol and Anna have very different personalities but have one thing in common they are all in an unhappy marriage. The women form an unexpected bond when they leave their husbands ⭐️4.5 Stars⭐️ Well written, witty and totally engaging The Women and the Girls by Laura Bloom was a delight to read! Set in Sydney in the 70’s era the story revolves around three mothers who have a connection through their children’s school. It’s a family drama about friendships, divorce and a celebration of women. Libby, Carol and Anna have very different personalities but have one thing in common they are all in an unhappy marriage. The women form an unexpected bond when they leave their husbands and marriages behind to set up house together. Will they be happier? We follow their journey as the women follow their hearts and desires as they live their new life. Each of the women thoughtfully support each other, and care for one another’s children as they realise the power of their friendships. It’s not easy street, they endure hardships, failures and struggle to deal with their estranged husbands but there is also joy, freedom, success and fun to be had. I just loved the 70’s vibe in this story, a wonderful touch of nostalgia - The ABBA concert, the fashion and hairstyles, women’s rights in that era and so much more. An intriguing plot, fast paced with realistic characters and real emotions! A highly recommended read! I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for giving me the opportunity to win a copy of this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    4.5 stars 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 4.5 stars 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. *I received a copy from the publisher

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kylie H

    This book brings together three women who are very different but whose daughters are friends. It is set in the 1970's and this threads through the story with fashion, food and music. Libby is a stay at home mum, a little bit of a hippy and always comfortable with her look and her ability to cook, including catering for parties and celebrations. However, for all that she has, she is desperately lonely and struggling with her young son, Jasper, that has some sort of learning disorder (never really This book brings together three women who are very different but whose daughters are friends. It is set in the 1970's and this threads through the story with fashion, food and music. Libby is a stay at home mum, a little bit of a hippy and always comfortable with her look and her ability to cook, including catering for parties and celebrations. However, for all that she has, she is desperately lonely and struggling with her young son, Jasper, that has some sort of learning disorder (never really explained). Then there is Anna, she is a successful consultant, and she along with her husband Myles, has just finished restoring one of there many Sydney properties. She is careful with her appearance and presentation as she is worried people will see through her professional veneer and see the poor, young child she had been. Then there is Carol, a young mother, who has just moved from the UK with her very controlling husband, Steve, and daughter. She is homesick and so far unable to find employment as a hairdresser. She is taking sedatives and trying not to drink to numb her pain. Initially these ladies do not really feel comfortable with each other, but after some time together they realise that they have more in common than they thought. The book recounts a turning point in their lives and how their friendship sustains them through some tough decisions and personal hardships. Thank you Allen & Unwin for the copy of this book that I won.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    4.5★s The Women and The Girls is the eighth novel by Australian screenwriter and author, Laura Bloom. None of them is truly happy. Libby’s husband is uninvolved and doesn’t seem prepared to change that; Anna’s husband avoids intimacy; and Carol’s has to control everything. They don’t know each other well, but their daughters are friendly at school. The day that Carol leaves Steve, during the ABBA concert, is the day that Anna makes a discovery and a decision. They end up at Libby’s, but not for l 4.5★s The Women and The Girls is the eighth novel by Australian screenwriter and author, Laura Bloom. None of them is truly happy. Libby’s husband is uninvolved and doesn’t seem prepared to change that; Anna’s husband avoids intimacy; and Carol’s has to control everything. They don’t know each other well, but their daughters are friendly at school. The day that Carol leaves Steve, during the ABBA concert, is the day that Anna makes a discovery and a decision. They end up at Libby’s, but not for long: by the next night, all three women have packed up their children and moved into a vacant house Anna owns. It’s a bold move in 1977, radical, some would say. The estranged husbands are not happy; the kids aren’t at all sure. Nor are the women, but they are determined. Anna mused: “There was no script for this, no certainty. There were no milestones to measure her progress against, or key performance indicators to be ticked off. For the first time in her life she was flying blind, and there was no way to predict how it would unfold.” Anna continues her high-power Market Research job; Libby’s area of expertise is in homemaking, her meals, chef quality; Carol is a talented hairdresser with a dream. They learn to cooperate and coordinate and to treat each other with consideration; they also discover they can revel in each other’s company instead of being lonely, and count on each other for support. But, in their enthusiasm, are they forgetting something? And will their nascent friendship be robust enough to counter the tactics of a psychopath? Bloom easily evokes the era: fondues, ABBA, the Holden Kingswood, fashion and hair styles, TV programs and children’s games, politics and world affairs, so many casual mentions scream late 1970s, and for readers of a certain vintage, the lives of these characters will resonate strongly and perhaps quite fondly. Certain aspects of that patriarchal society, though, will be recalled with undisguised loathing. Bloom gives her characters wise words and insightful observations: “I know we can’t just add water and always magically get along… it’s not as though it’s automatic for us to be friends, just because we’re women and have some things in common… We need to be able to talk about difficult things and to argue. We need to be able to be wrong sometimes. Or even a lot of the time, maybe.” This less-than-predictable tale is quite credible, takes a few turns, is (sometimes darkly) funny, and has a fairly realistic ending. Bloom’s women, endowed with both depth and a generous helping of human flaws, are sufficiently endearing that the reader will be cheering them on in their successes and commiserating with their failures. An appealing, entertaining and enjoyable read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Set in Australia in the late 1970’s, The Women and the Girls is a thoughtful and engaging novel about self discovery and friendship from Laura Bloom. No longer able to withstand her domineering husband, recent British immigrant Carol finds an unexpected ally in Anna when she makes the decision to leave him. Anna, who has just made the decision to leave her own husband, offers Carol refuge with her at an investment property she owns and then Libby, desperate for a change in the status quo of her m Set in Australia in the late 1970’s, The Women and the Girls is a thoughtful and engaging novel about self discovery and friendship from Laura Bloom. No longer able to withstand her domineering husband, recent British immigrant Carol finds an unexpected ally in Anna when she makes the decision to leave him. Anna, who has just made the decision to leave her own husband, offers Carol refuge with her at an investment property she owns and then Libby, desperate for a change in the status quo of her marriage, impulsively decides to join them. Told with heart and humour, Bloom shares the journey of these three women as they attempt to forge a new life for themselves, and their children. I thought the characterisation of each woman was well-rounded, exploring their strengths and flaws in a nuanced manner. While they each have different reasons for leaving their husbands, Carol, Anna and Libby are all essentially on a similar quest of self discovery, and are fortunate to have found an ally in each other. Bloom’s portrayal of female friendships in this novel is quite wonderful, the women are really little more than acquaintances when they first begin living together but they are effortlessly supportive of one another. Even if they don’t always agree, the consideration and respect of their relationships contrasts sharply with Carol and Libby’s experience in their respective marriages in a time when women were just beginning to realise that being a wife and mother didn’t negate their autonomy. Though I was only a young child in the 1970’s (I was born in 1973) I feel like Bloom captured the era well with her descriptions of hair and fashion, the affection for ABBA, the velvet couches, and fondue. Bloom also explores the dichotomy that characterised the period, for though the decade saw rapid social progress for womens’ rights in Australia, casual, and pointed, misogyny remained rife. The introduction of ‘no fault’ laws in 1976 saw the divorce rate triple (reaching a record high that still stands), yet in 1977 married women could not open a bank account without their husband’s permission. The Women and the Girls is a well-written, entertaining and thought-provoking read, that should have cross generational appeal.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Smith

    Well this was a treat! I haven’t read a whole lot of Australian fiction set in the 1970s, which is a real shame because it was a period of such rapid social and political change for our nation, something Laura Bloom has tapped right into and captured with perfection in The Women and The Girls. ‘She had no idea that when she became a mother, he would also expect her to mother him, and that his feelings would become a source of concern and interest in their household, in a way that hers never were. Well this was a treat! I haven’t read a whole lot of Australian fiction set in the 1970s, which is a real shame because it was a period of such rapid social and political change for our nation, something Laura Bloom has tapped right into and captured with perfection in The Women and The Girls. ‘She had no idea that when she became a mother, he would also expect her to mother him, and that his feelings would become a source of concern and interest in their household, in a way that hers never were. And that he would have moods, and be up and down, and feeling like doing this and not feel like doing that, just like the children. But unlike the children she couldn’t order him to do it anyway. Or even know what it was that he should do. She didn’t have the authority, or the knowledge, and it dismayed her, and put her off him in a deep, deep way.’ Despite the passage of time between then and now, there was plenty (for me) to relate to within this story. Above all, this is a novel about the uplifting power of female friendship and it was portrayed with such a realistic slant, yet devoid of cliché tropes that usually pop up in books about friendship, predominantly: what I like to call ‘mother-competitiveness’, a unique sort of one-upmanship that is born out of female jealousy. Instead, Laura thoughtfully explored how powerful the bonds of female friendship can be, the way in which they can flex under pressure yet withstand the force when the relationship is strong, honest, and based on respect. The three women within this novel had their issues, things got strained at times, but they ultimately relied on each other and were intent on ensuring that each was living their best life, and if one of them wasn’t, then steps would be taken to help that one out. It really was divine. Another thing I particularly like about this friendship which was strikingly real, was how it showed that just because you might be great friends with each other, this doesn’t always mean your children will be. I found this particularly noteworthy as over the years, with three children, I have formed many friendships out of the friendships of my children. Some of these have not lasted, as though as soon as our children are no longer best friends we were no longer entitled to be either. I have found this more with the mothers of girls rather than boys, which interestingly, was how it was portrayed within this novel. It was heartening to see the three women accept this about their own daughters and not allow it to break their own bonds. My favourite type of historical fiction is that which gives the reader that walk down a street from the past, so to speak. The devil is in the details for me and the details I want are all the little things that make up the fabric of society within that time frame. Laura Bloom recreated Sydney in the late 1970s with a realism that was enchanting. The fashion, the hair (!), the attitudes, that pull between the old ideas and the new; while this novel is not about the women’s liberation movement, it still explored it via the paths the three women were walking and all they were encountering along the way. So much has changed for women in Australia since the 1970s, and it’s not until you read a novel like this that you come to appreciate the simple things we take for granted now, such as being able to walk into a bank and open your own bank account without your husband’s permission. The irony, of being in a job that has a higher qualification than your husband, earning more money, yet you can’t open your own bank account without his permission. This is the sort of fiction the society junkie within me loves. There are many issues explored throughout this novel, from simple through to serious, it does have three main female characters after all so the scope was there for a lot of ground to be covered, but it does so with balance, and subsequently, the story never once felt overdone or cluttered with issues. I can really envisage this book as a cracking Australian television drama (hello Stan, wink, wink, nudge, nudge). It has that element of love, laughter and life that would translate well to the screen and Australia in the 1970s, all its cringeworthy glory, always makes for good entertainment in my view. While the ending of this one was a tad too gift wrapped for my tastes, I can’t fault anything else about it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to all, it has universal appeal and would make an ideal gift. Thanks is extended to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of The Women and the Girls for review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This story was based in the 1970's, with three friends, Libby, Carol and Anna. Libby is a stay at home mother and while she does entertain, she hasn't found close friends and feels lonely. So when she begins to talk more to Carol and Anna, she is surprised and delighted at the bond they form. Navigating all manner of difficult issues from that era, including the husbands, they each begin to find ways to really enjoy their lives again. This was an enjoyable family drama one, focused on growth and This story was based in the 1970's, with three friends, Libby, Carol and Anna. Libby is a stay at home mother and while she does entertain, she hasn't found close friends and feels lonely. So when she begins to talk more to Carol and Anna, she is surprised and delighted at the bond they form. Navigating all manner of difficult issues from that era, including the husbands, they each begin to find ways to really enjoy their lives again. This was an enjoyable family drama one, focused on growth and friendship.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zorro

    Trip back to the 70s that really spoke to me This is a beautiful book. I loved the trip back to Sydney in the 70s. It captures the fun vibe of that time - Abba concerts, an openness to new experiences, and freedom for kids to run around the neighbourhood. At its heart, it is a look at three women grappling with marriages that are, in their different ways problematic: Libby's husband, Ben, works too much and is uninvolved with the family; Anna's husband, Miles, is loving but doesn't seem to be abl Trip back to the 70s that really spoke to me This is a beautiful book. I loved the trip back to Sydney in the 70s. It captures the fun vibe of that time - Abba concerts, an openness to new experiences, and freedom for kids to run around the neighbourhood. At its heart, it is a look at three women grappling with marriages that are, in their different ways problematic: Libby's husband, Ben, works too much and is uninvolved with the family; Anna's husband, Miles, is loving but doesn't seem to be able to give Anna what she wants; and Carol's husband, Steve, is stressed and domineering. The women each decide to leave their husbands, and join together in creating a household, bringing along their kids as well. I loved the way that the book is interested in these women as wives and mothers, but even more interested in them as people. Who, apart from these roles, does each woman want to be? It is written with humour and appetite for life, but it goes deep into what is hard in marriage relationships and friendship relationships, intimacy, the impact of work on family life, and the threats to a relationship when one member changes. I loved the camaraderie between the women, and what they bring to each other. It makes me want to be a better friend. Especially since the woman have real conflict and difficulties in their relationships with each other. Laura Bloom is amazing the way she holds her nerve in these conflicts, and stays with the women, their feelings and the real drama of these situations, showing the value of conflict if relationships are to grow and strengthen. I recognised myself, my life and my relationships in the book. Even better, I felt I was offered a way forward in kinds of situations that I've found difficult in my life. This is a great book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caroline W

    I just finished reading The Women And The Girls and honestly loved it. I found it a heart-warming and very easy read. It's a book that I'm really glad I've read. I just finished reading The Women And The Girls and honestly loved it. I found it a heart-warming and very easy read. It's a book that I'm really glad I've read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    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. I must admit, I went into this book not sure that I would enjoy it...I shouldn’t have been, because I thoroughly enjoyed i 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. I must admit, I went into this book not sure that I would enjoy it...I shouldn’t have been, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. To summarise the story - it is women realising they aren’t happy and doing something about it and learning about themselves. Which, for the 70’s, is huge. I found myself thinking throughout the book - ‘this is the 70’s...women leaving their husbands would not have been an easy thing’. To have three women move in together, with their kids, would also have been frowned upon. 2020, less surprising, less impactful, but the 70’s, different story. I was proud of Carol, Libby and Anna for realising that their husbands weren’t being as good as they can be and for doing something about it. The way that Laura Bloom went through each story and the growth of each of the ladies as they learnt about themselves was beautiful. It was a really lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Craig / Phil

    Thank you Allen & Unwin for sending us a copy to read and review. It’s 1977 and Flairs and fashion are all the rage, everyone is partying and Abba are top of the charts. A story of friendship, freedom and one night that changes their lives forever. Three women, a bunch of kids and at a time when no one is truly happy they make a decision to live their life. Libby, a stay at home mum whose husband Ben thinks working is more important than her. Carol, an English rose who knows there’s more out there th Thank you Allen & Unwin for sending us a copy to read and review. It’s 1977 and Flairs and fashion are all the rage, everyone is partying and Abba are top of the charts. A story of friendship, freedom and one night that changes their lives forever. Three women, a bunch of kids and at a time when no one is truly happy they make a decision to live their life. Libby, a stay at home mum whose husband Ben thinks working is more important than her. Carol, an English rose who knows there’s more out there than her controlling husband Steve. Anna, has a successful career and is a workaholic but a secret is hurting her marriage to Myles. They come together at a time when they all need a friend and they form a strong and unpredictable connection. But their daughters and husbands are not keen on the idea. Take a trip back in time as Laura arouses all things 70’s, each page brought glitter, music and fashion back to life as part of the decade jumps from the pages. I grew up in the seventies so it was a fabulous time warp of memories. Something I really loved about the plot was the character development as the story progressed, it really made you see them in a different light. The power of strong friendship between women dripped from the book as well as exploring free love intimacy, romance, parenting and drive. There was a little humour scattered throughout that left me in giggles. A wonderful and touching tale and after you close the book it will leave you thinking.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melita

    I loved this book - such a great read. It's set in the 70s but felt very contemporary and I related to each of the female main characters in different ways. I loved how this book explored the romance, intimacy and power of women's friendships, and treated them as central to life, rather than peripheral to marital/mother-child and other relationships that so often steal the limelight. It's brimming with emotional truth, has moments of thigh-slapping humour (look out for Mr Harold the hairdresser) I loved this book - such a great read. It's set in the 70s but felt very contemporary and I related to each of the female main characters in different ways. I loved how this book explored the romance, intimacy and power of women's friendships, and treated them as central to life, rather than peripheral to marital/mother-child and other relationships that so often steal the limelight. It's brimming with emotional truth, has moments of thigh-slapping humour (look out for Mr Harold the hairdresser) and was a thoroughly satisfying read. I can't wait to share this with my book group - so much to enjoy and so much to talk about.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Forbes

    Good quick and easy ready, wasn’t a fan of the ending (finished a bit fast). But still read it pretty quick so it must have been good!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    It’s interesting, the 1970s is only slightly removed from when I was born (early 80s) but it’s a time where I don’t really feel like I know that much about what life in Australia was like at that time. I know much more about life during the First World War, or the 1930s, or the 40s and 50s….but once we get into the 1960s and 70s, I feel as though my knowledge drops off sharply and really all I have are a few stories my parents have told about their childhoods. But neither really talk a lot about It’s interesting, the 1970s is only slightly removed from when I was born (early 80s) but it’s a time where I don’t really feel like I know that much about what life in Australia was like at that time. I know much more about life during the First World War, or the 1930s, or the 40s and 50s….but once we get into the 1960s and 70s, I feel as though my knowledge drops off sharply and really all I have are a few stories my parents have told about their childhoods. But neither really talk a lot about it and definitely not in a broader sense, especially about the wave of feminism that swept through. In this book Libby, Carol and Anna have children together at the same school in a suburb in Sydney. For different reasons, their marriages break down around the same time. Anna discovers something about her husband that changes everything. For Carol, her husband’s controlling and borderline abusive ways have become the last straw. And for Libby, she’s tired of parenting not just her own children, but also her husband as well, who doesn’t seem to see or appreciate her. The three women end up moving in to the investment property of Anna and her husband, which was formerly a boarding house – plenty of room for them all, plus their combined five children. Anna has two daughters, Carol one daughter and Libby a daughter and a son who has special needs. Three of the daughters are the same age and the combination of going to school together and living together in a kind of communal house, strains the friendship of the children enormously. This was a fascinating idea. The women are all very different – Libby hasn’t worked for a while, staying at home full time to look after the children. Anna is more of a career woman and Carol did previously work but hasn’t since coming to Australia with her husband for what was supposed to be a better life. She has struggled to fit in, to make friends in the new area but there’s a moment that connects her to Libby. They are able to share the childcare and chores around the home, which allows them to work different schedules. The women also provide support to one another in what they’re all going through, although the friendship is not really of long standing and isn’t either rock-solid, nor hampered by a competition with each other. However the fact that women did move in together without perhaps really knowing a lot about each other and the fact that each of them are going through upheaval in their lives and also have different responsibilities and issues with their children, means that in some cases, there is tension and disagreements. I enjoyed the exploration of the three marriages the women were in, all of which were very different. Anna and her husband enjoy a comfortable marriage where they appreciate each other but the intimacy has gone and although her husband seems content with it, Anna is not. She makes some steps to change it and is hit with a reality she never expected. Libby and Ben are probably a story that many are familiar with – Ben works hard and it’s taken over his entire life. He ducks out of family days and outings to call work, or note down ideas and is rarely present in their lives. This leaves Libby really frustrated as she carries the entire mental load of the family – it’s her that knows everything the children do in terms of their schedule and she also hosts gatherings that help her husband in his career. She’s tried talking to him and gotten nowhere and it’s frustration I think, that she’s not being heard, that makes her leave, rather than a real desire to actually separate from her husband. It was also like she felt left out, after Carol made a courageous decision to leave her husband and Anna’s discovery meant she was leaving too. The two women were moving in together and Libby kind of joined in as well, almost like she didn’t want to miss out on the experience! There was one part of the story that I found a bit of a struggle to get my head around, it just didn’t really make a lot of sense to me. It might have I think, if it had been delved into a little deeper and developed a little more, especially the why but it kind of just popped up once or twice and then came to a head towards the end but in a way that didn’t feel as though it took up meaningful space in the story for me. It was kind of glanced over, which given what it was, felt just a bit odd. All in all I found this an enjoyable read of a snapshot in a time that I really do need to read more of. ***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review***

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Polyreader

    This is exactly the book I needed to read at precisely the right time. I was immediately drawn in by the blurb from Liane Moriarty and started reading the day it landed on my doorstep thanks to the kind and perfectly thoughtful Allen & Unwin. This is the story of three women living in the fictional suburb of ‘Sandgate’ (based in the inner city of Sydney), in 1977. Each of them are experiencing complicated, unhappy marriages, and with daughters at the same school, they find one another and form a This is exactly the book I needed to read at precisely the right time. I was immediately drawn in by the blurb from Liane Moriarty and started reading the day it landed on my doorstep thanks to the kind and perfectly thoughtful Allen & Unwin. This is the story of three women living in the fictional suburb of ‘Sandgate’ (based in the inner city of Sydney), in 1977. Each of them are experiencing complicated, unhappy marriages, and with daughters at the same school, they find one another and form an unexpected friendship & living arrangement. Set against the backdrop of the grungy inner city and experimental late 70’s, this novel is a tribute to women and girls in a time in which choice and autonomy was still scarcely available to them. Bloom successfully gives voice to a generation of women who’s stories were grossly unheard and unacknowledged in the age of divorce. Told from the perspective of the three protagonists: Libby, Carol & Anna, this story is beautifully crafted and each character’s inner word is well examined, given equal voice and each story ends with closure. I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait to dive into more of Bloom’s work!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Saresinc

    Oh I loved these characters from the first page. Being in 1977 Sydney was so much fun to read. The point that you don’t automatically become friends with someone just because they are also a woman your age, but you can come together through shared experiences, helping each other and our need of fulfilment. I wish there was more story that included more of the dialogue of what was actually going on in those girls minds too.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Dinis

    A very easy read that was enjoyable from start to finish! I really enjoyed how the author subtly explored concepts of domestic abuse and violence in a very realistic setting. A female-powered novel!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Walker

    A fun, nostalgic trip back to women’s lives in the seventies!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hayley (meet_me_at_the_library)

    The Women and the Girls is a story about friendship and self-discovery, set in Australia in the 1970s. I loved the feminist themes in this one, and the strong sense of sisterhood between the female characters, however, the pace was a bit slow for me, and I didn’t really connect with the story like I’d hoped to. If you love character driven stories then it might work better for you. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Allen & Unwin. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathie Sawyer

    Imagine Lianne Moriarty meets the 70s and you have The Women and The Girls. Libby’s husband pays more attention to his job more than his family. Carol’s husband is controlling and abusive. Anna’s husband is perfect on the surface level but acts more like a friend than an intimate partner. An astonishing move in the 70’s, the three women leave their husbands and move in together, taking their children along with them. How will three very different women who recently didn’t even like each other surviv Imagine Lianne Moriarty meets the 70s and you have The Women and The Girls. Libby’s husband pays more attention to his job more than his family. Carol’s husband is controlling and abusive. Anna’s husband is perfect on the surface level but acts more like a friend than an intimate partner. An astonishing move in the 70’s, the three women leave their husbands and move in together, taking their children along with them. How will three very different women who recently didn’t even like each other survive with four teenage girls and an autistic son to take care of without the help of their husbands? Just fine if you ask them. Powerful figures of their time in a decade where women were just learning how to be assertive Carol, Libby and Anna must learn how to live differently and begin to re-write their life stories as their own away from the influence of overbearing men. This book felt like a time capsule from the 70s. Complete with ABBA concerts (major fangirl moment), beehive hair styles and sexist ideals, the details were all there creating an immersive feel that transported me back in time. The novel wasn’t perfect, it was hard to follow at times because of the amount of characters and I could never figure out which kid(s) belonged to which woman, but overall I really enjoyed it. What this book might have lacked in flow it made up for in emotion. I could not comprehend how poorly these women were treated by the men in their lives only 50 years ago! It made me furious and frustrated how these men felt like they could control their lives, make decisions for them, look down on them and treat them as second rate citizens. This was a thoughtful exploration of the bonds between women and what makes a true friend that ignores the normal tropes of women’s friendships in novels. It was such a fun read and I immediately lent it to a friend who asked for holiday reading, the perfect category for this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    The story for this intrigued me - three mothers begin a friendship over a concert and end up supporting each other through simultaneous marriage breakdowns by sharing a house together. All three have very different personalities - a young English hairdresser leaves her controlling and emotionally abusive husband, a bohemian mother of two seeks to be respected and listened to, and a successful corporate woman finally realises her husband is gay. Each is able to support and encourage and help the The story for this intrigued me - three mothers begin a friendship over a concert and end up supporting each other through simultaneous marriage breakdowns by sharing a house together. All three have very different personalities - a young English hairdresser leaves her controlling and emotionally abusive husband, a bohemian mother of two seeks to be respected and listened to, and a successful corporate woman finally realises her husband is gay. Each is able to support and encourage and help the others to find strength and identity during difficult times, although this was not explored as deeply as it could have been. I had trouble remembering that this was supposed to be set in the seventies - too much of the dialogue and characters felt modern, even with era-specific references such as music and clothing, and wives needing their husband's permission to travel or do banking came as jarring reminders. The daughters or 'girls' of the title were very unexplored, and although I found it very engaging, there were too many missed opportunities.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was okay but I felt the blurb promised more than was delivered. The three women were depicted very well in the beginning. As the story progressed, there was large character developments that the reader was not privy to but I wanted to learn how they got there. The husbands were in and out of it sporadically. And the reference to the girls- the daughters of the women - barely referenced until the end whne there was the culmination. There was little to no explanation about how the breakdowns This was okay but I felt the blurb promised more than was delivered. The three women were depicted very well in the beginning. As the story progressed, there was large character developments that the reader was not privy to but I wanted to learn how they got there. The husbands were in and out of it sporadically. And the reference to the girls- the daughters of the women - barely referenced until the end whne there was the culmination. There was little to no explanation about how the breakdowns of their parent relationships affected them

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Nicholas

    This book was a slog. I couldn’t find myself connecting with the characters, I felt like I was waiting for something to happen right up until the final full stop. I’m sure others would love it, but it wasn’t for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    cindy henderson

    I get invested by the end of the book but it was a bit of a battle getting there. I felt there was too much drama for me. Not sure I would recommend

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Antipodean Bookclub

    “She minded it with Ben. She had no idea that when she became a mother, he would also expect her to mother him, and that his feelings would become a source of concern and interest in their household, in a way that hers never were. And that he would have moods, and be up and down, and feel like doing this and not feel like doing that, just like the children. But unlike the children she couldn’t order him to do it anyway. Or even know what it is that he should do. She didn’t have the authority, or “She minded it with Ben. She had no idea that when she became a mother, he would also expect her to mother him, and that his feelings would become a source of concern and interest in their household, in a way that hers never were. And that he would have moods, and be up and down, and feel like doing this and not feel like doing that, just like the children. But unlike the children she couldn’t order him to do it anyway. Or even know what it is that he should do. She didn’t have the authority, or the knowledge, and it dismayed her” . . . 1977 ~ There’s fondue, macrame and Abba, but it’s also a time of social change. The Female Eunuch was published in 1970 and Gloria Steinem founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in the US in 1971 In Sydney, three women are unhappy in their marriages. Libby is married to Ben and is wondering when there might be time for her ambitions. Anna is married to Myles. Unlike Ben, he is physically rather than emotionally unavailable. Carol is married to Steve who is controlling and volatile. As the women become closer, they find an opportunity to support each other and to explore the intersection of sexual liberation, feminism and relationships This was an easy summer read, but with enough depth and character development to keep it interesting. I enjoyed spending time with Libby, Anna and Carol and also appreciated a nuanced look at female friendship. The 1970s setting was well captured from clogs to flares and casual sexism. There was a scene at an ABBA concert that made me stick in Waterloo and dance around the living room! Huge thanks to Allen and Unwin for sending me this gorgeous gifted copy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cody

    📖 The women and the girls | Laura Bloom 4/5⭐️ Torn with this one. Part of me loved it, part of me didn’t. It’s the 1970s and 3 women, newly friends, all leave their husbands at the same time. They all move in together and think it will be all happy families.. but it’s not. The husbands don’t support it, the kids don’t like it, and the only ones having a good time are the women.. but are they really? I felt particularly triggered reading this and found the character Libby far too relatable. She lo 📖 The women and the girls | Laura Bloom 4/5⭐️ Torn with this one. Part of me loved it, part of me didn’t. It’s the 1970s and 3 women, newly friends, all leave their husbands at the same time. They all move in together and think it will be all happy families.. but it’s not. The husbands don’t support it, the kids don’t like it, and the only ones having a good time are the women.. but are they really? I felt particularly triggered reading this and found the character Libby far too relatable. She loves her husband but misses him as he is always working.. so she walks out. Carol leaves because she is tired of being controlled and belittled by hers and Anna, well her reasons for leaving are valid too but you will have to read the book to find out! Sorry, not sorry! It’s not until the kids punch on that the trio’s bubble bursts and they have a change of heart in their living situation. The grass isn’t always greener now is it? Taking a stand got a little carried away but they all manage to turn it around. This is all things family, freedom and love. Sadly the story kind of just ended.. all this build up of drama to just stop which was a touch disappointing. But they all get their happy ending and who doesn’t love that?! Enchantingly moving. And slightly risqué for the times.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle

    Set in the 70’s, during a time when ABBA ruled the music scene, women were expected to be submissive & men still ruled the world. Enter Carol, Anna & Libby, three women who get jack of that narrative & decide to change their lives. I guess that’s the crux for me though, these women were doing something monumental & unexpected & yet the story felt… a bit too fluffy, I felt unmoved. I didn’t feel an affinity with any of the characters or their stories sadly. Their friendship was a beautiful thing Set in the 70’s, during a time when ABBA ruled the music scene, women were expected to be submissive & men still ruled the world. Enter Carol, Anna & Libby, three women who get jack of that narrative & decide to change their lives. I guess that’s the crux for me though, these women were doing something monumental & unexpected & yet the story felt… a bit too fluffy, I felt unmoved. I didn’t feel an affinity with any of the characters or their stories sadly. Their friendship was a beautiful thing in a very challenging time, maybe that was the writer’s focus & I missed the point. Maybe I just read this story at the wrong time & therefore didn’t relate to it. For that reason I’m choosing not to give this book a rating, because it wasn’t a badly written book, it just maybe wasn’t the right book for me right now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Moseley

    DNF. Just gave up on Second Place Rachel Cusk as it did not grab me, but this one seems to my taste, the other extreme. I put it down to my last GREAT book , in size , perfection to me in rhythm, pace and best of all, almost flawless editing : The Huntress Kate Quinn. DNF. Just gave up on Second Place Rachel Cusk as it did not grab me, but this one seems to my taste, the other extreme. I put it down to my last GREAT book , in size , perfection to me in rhythm, pace and best of all, almost flawless editing : The Huntress Kate Quinn.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.