I’m a big fan of Liane Moriarty’s books, but I haven’t read her sister Nicola Moriarty‘s books before. Then I spotted a copy of Those Other Women at a book fair and snapped it up back in February. I don’t want to judge Nicola’s writing against her sister’s, but I will say that she’s a great writer in her own right.
Those Other Women was an entertaining and slightly stressful read. Why? Because it’s a book that pits women against women in the online world of Facebook groups. And as you know, women can be very mean to each other. In this book, the rivalry springs up between the Mum’s Online in Parramatta Facebook group (MOP) and a non-mum’s group called NOP. NOP is started by Poppy, who never wanted to have kids and thought her husband agreed. But then her husband leaves her for her best friend and has a child. Feeling left out and excluded from female Facebook groups where entry is based solely on being a mum, Poppy decides to start a non-mum’s group with her work friend, Annalise.
But things start getting out of hand when members of NOP start confronting mums in the real world, following a misguided, drunken post from Poppy. What started out as fun soon gets very heated. And there’s also a mole in the NOP group. A mum who joins to give herself a break from her kids. Once the mothers’ Facebook group finds out about the anti-mum group, it’s all-out war.
So, there’s a lot of conflict in this book – hence the stress. I dislike it when women judge other women even though it’s something that happens all the time, especially on social media. Those Other Women raises lots of issues about being a mum or choosing not to have children and how this is perceived by society. As well as how other women judge one another based on if you have kids or not. But what’s soon apparent is that life can be tough for every woman regardless of whether they are a mum or not.
This story is told mostly from the perspective of Poppy, her friend Annalise, their work colleague Frankie, and the mystery mole in the group. There’s a ton of conflict and it explores the impact of social media on our lives and how sometimes it can do more harm than good. Those Other Women would make a great read for a book club.
I felt that I could see both sides of the story. The one character I didn’t really warm to was Annalise. She’s a complicated character who you don’t know whether to like or hate. I still don’t know!
Verdict: An entertaining domestic drama that’s full of conflict.