I loved Dawn’s young adult books so much and I was eager to pick up her first foray into adult fiction. I didn’t really pay too much attention to what it was about beforehand. Unfortunately, the subject matter focused around things I try and avoid on the internet, such as tabloid rags’ efforts to ruin people’s lives.

Tara is filmed masturbating on a tube and the video goes viral, even worse the Daily Mail picks it up. Her story follows her life unravelling as her family, colleagues and not-really friends find out about it. She’s also a single mum and the media start to focus on what this says about her ability to be a good mother, as they often do when the subject of their attention is female.

I was surprised that it didn’t show Tara seeking legal advice. I guess she was filmed doing something she shouldn’t, but surely there is a limit to what the press can share. They even go to the point of publishing who her 6-year-old daughter is, yet no one goes after them. I find it disgusting what the media get away with these days and this is, unfortunately, another story where they get no comeuppance.

Lots of people writing stuff to get noticed, rather than stuff they actually feel. Most of what is being said is just the fearful result of some writer who is scared of not getting any more work.

Cam is a lifestyle blogger, who has started writing more about feminism. Her blog posts form part of her narrative but often this made the book feel as if it wanted to be a non-fiction book about feminism. Her posts don’t immediately appear that relevant to the plot and it takes a long time for the three women’s narratives to come together.

The third woman is Stella, whose behaviour ended up annoying me no end. She was the most likeable from the start and there was so much reason to sympathise with her. Her twin sister and mother both died of cancer and she’s just told she has the BRCA gene mutation too. I saw some of the blurbs for this book said it was funny, but I found it only tragic. I wonder if the people who laugh at these women are the same kind who would watch Tara’s video. It does attempt to look at some of the reasons people may become trolls, but generally I think there’s little excuse for harassment.

There is a lot in this book about having kids, from not wanting them at all to being desperate to have them and not having the opportunity. Again, this is another subject I’m not a huge fan of reading about.

A successful working relationship has all the qualities of a bad relationship.

Whilst one of the endings I didn’t see coming at all, the rest was all a bit too neatly tied up. I’m sure plenty of people will love the content, it’s modern and relevant, but personally I found it depressing at a time where I could have done with cheering up. Maybe, it’s all just a bit too real.

The Cows is published by HarperCollins and will be available in hardback and ebook editions from 6th April 2017. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.