Published: 2012 Allen and Urwin
Genre: Contemporary /Women’s Fiction
Format: Large Paperback
Acquired: Local Collins bookstore
Date Finished: April 11th 2012
The Mother’s Group tells the story of six very different women who agree to meet regularly after the births of their respective babies. It tracks their individual journeys during that first crucial year—and the group’s collective one—as they navigate motherhood and the shifting ground of their relationships with their partners. Each woman struggles in her own way to become the mother she wants to be, and finds herself becoming increasingly reliant on the friendship and support of the mother’s group members. Until one day, when an unthinkably shocking event changes everything. The Mother’s Group is an unflinching and compelling portrait of love, sex, marriage and parenting in an increasingly complicated world. Moving, provocative, tender and utterly gripping, it will draw you in and never let you go.
From page one I fell hard for this book. It appealed to me on so many levels but fundamentally my desire to be a mother overcome me and the risky cost involved in picking up this book, cost aside I want to run out and buy this for every mother and potential mother I know, and tell them to sit down and devour the book because I certainly did.
The story was one of many emotions and perspectives, each character fresh and full with their own trials and triumphs throughout the novel. The way that each story was interwoven made me hooked with every flick of the page. There was never a dull moment in any of the characters lives and the pacing was constantly enjoyable.
I had my favorites and it was almost like I was sitting there with them, together with my imaginary bundle bouncing on my lap as I picked and judged and drew closer towards those women who I could connect with and those who would challenge me. This is one of the many things I loved about The Mothers group – the constant questioning and challenging of my own morals and for-thoughts of pregnancy and motherhood.
Not only do we gain insight into each woman’s lives, but that of the father and family. It certainly raised a lot of questions I pressed to my partner and it made me thankful at times for having someone willing to be so supporting in my journey. Fiona Higgins has a way of capturing the human spirit throughout every word making you feel, making you a part of something so natural and yet at times the sensation of being disconnected. It was an unflinching fictional look at what a mother feels and goes through and while it did not go into the graphic nature of birth, it did fulfill the knowledge that it is a beautiful experience and that there are pros and cons.
The biggest part of this story was the building friendships and the back-story into each characters life and pre-pregnancy – these two elements made the novel and drove it forward with compassion and realism. This was not one of those stories that is a transition book, each background story built up to the present day was just as emotionally charging as the present day story. I loved it.
Nearing the mid way mark my heart started to churn, my chest tight. I did not want to put this down. The world around me disappeared and tears- oh the tears and the onslaught of overwhelming feelings. I just wanted to talk about this book. I wanted to start it over again and re-read it.
The Mother’s Group was it was set in Sydney, Australia and in modern times where technology is the new social acceptance. But this novel seemed to surpass this thankfully into good old fashioned one on one get together’s and support. Something I greatly appreciated.
I would recommend this book to anyone, woman or man. I am certainly going to give this to my partner to read, for the sheer experience and what he could learn about women and birth and the life after. There is so much fear built up, in a lot of books fiction and non-fiction but The Mother’s Group combines everything so beautifully it left me feeling satisfied and I hope you to enjoy it if you choose to pick it up.
Read if you like: Monica McInerney