My mother’s group was made up of a dozen tradesman’s wives who were all a good ten years younger than me, which proved my point that the only thing we had in common was that we shagged our partners without contraception at about the same time.

I remember standing outside the community hall when the Health Worker (who ran the awkward group) drove up and immediately asked two of the new mums to stop smoking while they had their babies in a baby sling.  Yep.

There was one new mum in my Mother’s Group who I gravitated to.  She was in a shit house relationship with the baby-daddy.  We used to meet in secret and go down by the river where she would regale me with terrible stories about how she had been done wrong.  She would ask me for advice and I would be all like “Kick that loser to the curb!” I figured it must have been tough enough to raise a baby by yourself without the added disadvantage of having a complete dreg in your life.  She eventually DID kick that loser to the curb.  I often think about her and her daughter,  who would be 8 now.

I was a Mother’s Group Fail. Then we moved away and I did not miss it.

Heaps of my friends really got into their Mother’s Groups and found fantastic friendships that have stood the test of time, tears and tantrums.  They all tell a similar story,  about how there was a “breakaway” group who would secretly arrange extra time together.  In my suburb,  you can spot a Mother’s Group a mile away as they sit in cafes.  trying desperately to drink a coffee while it is hot and compare milestones, baby bags and prams.  If I had my time again,  I think I would have tried harder, but sometimes the politics far outweighed the fun.

Last week a freshly minted book arrived at WoogsWorld.  I rarely get time to read a book except when I am on holidays or there is a new Bill Bryson title on the shelf.  This book caught my attention.

I surrendered my afternoon to it and propped myself up on the couch with a cuppa.  It was a few hours later when Mr Woog sauntered in from work and looked at me as if I had gone mad. Because I never just stop and read.  But this book had me hook line and sinker.  I neglected my wifely and motherly duties for 24 hours and knocked that baby over on it’s ass.  I loved it.

The Mother’s Group is the first novel by Australian Fiona Higgins.  The book tells the story of six women and their journey into the complex world of The Mother’s Group.  Each character is very different and the author allows us to get to know them with fantastic back stories and honest assessments of what life is actually like for new mums.  It is funny, sad, thought-provoking and has fantastic twists in the plot that makes you keep on reading. The character’s include: (flogged from Fiona’s website)

GINIE a successful partner in a big legal firm, returns to work a month after her baby is born.
MADE (pron. mar-day) is a young Balinese woman married to a much older Australian man.
SUZIE, a single mother, is struggling to bring up her daughter on her own.
MIRANDA longs to bond with her sunny baby but finds herself increasingly distracted – and       frustrated – by her spoilt and demanding toddler stepson.
PIPPA is suffering from an injury incurred during the birth of her child but is unable to talk about her problem.
CARA, whose marriage is turned upside down after meeting a long-lost love.

I can highly recommend this book if you want a great escaping read. I liked it so much  that I Twitter Nagged the publisher’s Allen and Unwin into running a giveaway on my blog. Not just ANY giveaway!  A giveaway FOR YOU TO CHILLAX AND SPOIL YOURSELF.

I have very unimaginatively called it MRS WOOG’S ULTIMATE CHILLAX PACK.

We have come up with 5 prize packs,  all selected by my good self, to help you cool your jets after a hectic day. You are to read the book while drinking the wine and eating the chocolate while smelling my favourite Glasshouse Candle. AND you have full permission not to share!
And for 5 runners up,  we have a copy of The Mother’s Group to give away.  You will have to supply your own goon I am afraid.

TO WIN – Leave a comment and answer me this.

Me? Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig and Caramel Ice Cream of course!
But we thought it would melt if we tried to send it to you.
The prizes will be awarded to the entrants who, in the opinion of the judges (not me – the Allen and Unwin suits) , best answers the question using 35 words or less. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entries will close on Monday 2nd April and announced here on Tuesday 3rd April.
Feel like Oprah, but less fantastic.