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The Cows by Dawn O'Porter

The Cows

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April 2017 Debut of the Month.

Oh my word, this is an eyebrow raising, mouth openingly good read. A contemporary tale about three women, muddling and battling their way through this world as best they can. Emotional growing pains can occur at any age, life doesn't run smoothly, and these three women hold out the hand of friendship to all of us. We see and feel deeply hidden thoughts, witness shockingly embarrassing moments, and I found myself wincing at their pain, snorting with laughter, and cheering them on. Dawn O’Porter has written a stonkingly good read, I stayed up well past my bedtime into the early hours in order to finish it in one sitting. My feelings went into free fall and occasionally tied themselves up in knots as I read. ‘The Cows’ slams with impact, slaps adversity in the face, and offers supportive understanding in our modern world. Highly recommended! ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Edel Waugh - 'an extraordinary story...This was a deeply thought provoking and inspiring book with three strong women at the centre of it doing their best with what life dealt them.'
  • Sabine Little - 'What starts out as a chick-lit quick read turns out to be quite thought-provoking - a book that takes you through the full emotional spectrum.'
  • Carneika Washbrook - 'The Cows has to be one of the best books out there for modern women - no stereotypes here! It's is that kind of funny where you are laughing out loud, but shaking your head at the same time.'
  • Suz Beney - 'I was really looking forward to reading this book, and it did not disappoint. In fact my only disappointment was when I turned the last page.'
  • Julie Watkin - 'This book is engaging, uplifting and emotional. It follows the lives of three women who cross paths in their quest to find real happiness.'
  • Melanie Chadwick - 'Interlinked stories of three women and their obsessions about sex and image.'
  • Julie Bickerdyke - 'Tales of humiliation and personal ordeals related with humour and compassion for an inspiring read.'
  • Vicky-Leigh Sayer - 'The Cows is an important novel that showcases the society we live in, how we can all be oh so quick to judge others, yet expect people to have our backs when the world has turned against us.'
  • Val Rowe - 'A bitter-sweet, tragicomedy. Naughty but nice and such fun! I loved it!'
  • Katie Hoare - 'This is a good book if you want to see three different cow-ish perspectives on modern society, from three different women who become friends, seen through three different perspectives, and also blogs that is meant for public consumption.'
  • Emma Caddick - 'The Cow’s is a storm of a debut novel. It is so enjoyable, an easy, un-put-down-able read, which I imagine will be adorning many a sun lounger this summer.'
  • Emily Wright - 'The Cows is everything a modern woman has the power to be: sassy and smart, intelligent and individual, big hearted and brave, full of verve and vulnerability.'
  • Annette Woolfson - 'a novel about empowerment and women finding their own way in the world, about the love and support of family and friends and about holding your head high and doing what is right for you and the ones you love.'
  • Farah Alam - 'Overall, this book was enjoyable read. It raises important questions of the how women are perceived in society, the judgement that comes with going against the stereotype and how it is important to change that.'


The Cows by Dawn O'Porter

COW [n.] /kau/ A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd. Women don't have to fall into a stereotype. THE COWS is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find their own voice. It's about friendship and being female. It's bold and brilliant. It's searingly perceptive. It's about never following the herd. And everyone is going to be talking about it.


'A funny, smart, kind, incredibly truthful book about women ... all the shame, judgement, envy and love that being alive and female entails'
Polly Vernon

'Smart and insightful'

'Funny and excruciating. You'll think about it for weeks!'
Kristen Wiig

'I loved it. Funny, moving, twisty ... Wow! I couldn't stop reading it'
Jill Mansell

About the Author

Dawn O'Porter

Dawn O’Porter is a novelist, columnist, broadcaster and designer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Chris, son Art, cat Lilu and dog Potato. She has made numerous documentaries about all sorts of things: polygamy, childbirth, Geisha, body image, breast cancer and even the movie Dirty Dancing. She is the critically acclaimed author of Paper Aeroplanes and Goose. Dawn launched ‘Help Refugees’ in 2015, a charity that sends urgent care to refugees across Europe. She is also the host of ‘Get It On’, a weekly podcast where she interviews interesting people about why they wear what they wear.

Author photo © David Loftus

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Book Info

Publication date

6th April 2017


Dawn O'Porter

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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


448 pages


Relationship Stories
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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