Poppy’s world has been tipped sideways: the husband who never wanted children has betrayed her with her broody best friend.
At least Annalise is on her side. Her new friend is determined to celebrate their freedom from kids, so together they create a Facebook group to meet up with like-minded women, and perhaps vent just a little about smug mummies’ privileges at work.
Meanwhile, their colleague Frankie would love a night out, away from her darlings – she’s not had one this decade and she’s heartily sick of being judged by women at the office as well as stay-at-home mums.
Then Poppy and Annalise’s group takes on a life of its own and frustrated members start confronting mums like Frankie in the real world. Cafés become battlegrounds, playgrounds become war zones and offices have never been so divided.
A rivalry that was once harmless fun is spiraling out of control.
Because one of their members is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And she has an agenda of her own . . .
*Thank you to the publisher, William Morrow, for providing a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Those Other Women tells a story of three women and revolves around everyday battles between women whether it be mothers or non-mothers. Poppy just went through the biggest betrayal one could ever experience. Her husband cheated on her with her very best friend, Karleen, and now he is leaving her. Because the guy she married who doesn’t want to have kids has gotten Karleen pregnant and is excited to start a family. Left alone to deal with hurt and anger, she found a new best friend with her co-worker, Annalise. They get along so well and she helped Poppy with her heartbreak. They both don’t want to have any children and they decided to create an exclusive Facebook group for like-minded women. Just exactly like how the mothers in their area have their own group. It became their venue to share experiences and once in a while complain about the privileges mothers get. And then there’s Frankie. Annalise and Poppy’s colleague and the boss’ secretary. Unlike the two women, Frankie has kids she love dearly. That’s not to say that she wouldn’t want a time off every once in a while. It doesn’t help the pressure of being judge not only by non-mothers but those stay at home moms as well. Things went out of control when members of non-mothers started confronting moms on the real world and the members of the mothers group retaliates. Suddenly, the rivalry was taken into the next level and Poppy, Annalise, and Frankie are in the center of it. And if that’s not enough, someone from the Facebook group has her own agenda and seems to enjoy the chaos.
I was expecting it to be a mystery novel but it’s more of a women’s fiction. But it’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it since it turns out to be such an interesting read. It gives a take on the existing battle between women nowadays which made more intense with the availability of social media. I’ve read and hear a lot of judgments from women and men alike and though it was not directed at me, I can imagine the feeling. With that said, Those Other Women did a great job in tackling such issue realistically. Told in parts with three POVs from Poppy, Annalise, and Frankie, these characters feels convincingly real and easy to connect to, albeit not always likeable. It was good to read the different perspectives of women who have children, their joys and struggles, and those who don’t want them and how they are being judged because of it. The discussions within the groups are something one can ponder on and something we can learn a thing or two with when it comes to questioning other people’s life choices and understanding them instead of judging.
But there’s also so much more in this book than putting each other down, it also showed how women can uplift and support each other. For all the reasons social media can be toxic, it can also do something good. Those women managed to find a safe place where they can share their thoughts and feelings, release the pressure and frustrations, meet new friends, and just help each other.
I like how it took on a turn and the online rivalry extended to real life and see how women react to the confrontations. The way opinions of each group suddenly clashed and women turning on each other are all so realistic. I easily spotted the double agent but the mystery of why still remains until the end. It was a little predictable but that doesn’t take away the fun of reading it. Those Other Women is well-paced, the writing is impressive and is very engaging. Timely and relatable.