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Micro review: ‘The Cows’ is a breezy book on feminism and online trolls

Dawn O’Porter[1]‘s first adult fiction The Cows , is a bold, perceptive read about the lives of three women and the interesting bond they share with each other. The book seeks to subvert long-propagated stereotypes regarding women, and compares them to cows who are born and reared only to breed and to be devoured. Though the book ranges for over 400 pages, it is pretty easy to read and quick to grasp.

The Cows focusses on three different women: Cam, a successful blogger who encourages women to own their bodies and their decision to remain childless; Tara, a documentary maker; and Stella, a PA grieving over the death of her mother and sister.

Tara becomes an overnight internet sensation after an unfortunate incident that happens with her while on a date, and her successful career turns to shambles. O’Porter tackles a very realistic trail by media and this is when she meets Cam. Stella, realising that she carries the cancer gene, must undergo a full mastectomy and remove her ovaries.

Besides talking a great deal about women’s control over their own sexuality, The Cows also explores the important contemporary issue of social media trolling and the archetypal struggle of women to voice their right in choosing to be childless. The book effectively portrays the evils of social media targeting women and how such incidents can significantly damage someone’s life. Even though the theme is largely feminist and focuses on breaking gender typecasts, the characters in the book remain stereotypes themselves, almost stock figures.

Even the boyfriends and male bosses are either emotionally stunted or overly sensitive, not to mention how they have to be “cute” every time. But, in all fairness, the book’s theme and the tackling of real issues, does overshadow the one-dimensional characters, and surprisingly remains a light-hearted read, perfect for a movie script. How critics view the book:

Sara Lawrence of the Daily Mail writes, “O’Porter’s wise and witty narrative has many thought-provoking situations and concepts. Different, poignant and smart – I loved it.”

Comedian, writer and actress Kristen Wiig writes, “Funny and excruciating. You’ll think about it for weeks!”

The Irish Times writes in a review of the book, “O’Porter’s prose is more casually construed than crafted, with blog posts, text messages, Twitter responses and emails all helping to capture the natural idioms of her contemporary characters.”

The Pool writes about The Cows, “A zippy and hilarious book… tackles some of the most serious issues that affect modern women today”.

“The Cows” by Dawn O’Porter is a Sunday Times bestseller[2].
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News[3] App.

Click here[4] to download it for your device.

References

  1. ^ Dawn O’Porter (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  2. ^ Sunday Times bestseller (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  3. ^ News (play.google.com)
  4. ^ here (get.timesofindia.com)

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