Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty. Before I share an extract from the opening chapter, here’s what the book is all about:
Poppy has never wanted children, a fact that had never bothered her until she is confronted by her husband’s affair with her broody best friend, at which point her world is turned upside down. However, Poppy’s fortunes soon look set to change when she finds a kindred spirit in the brazen and bubbly Annalise. Together, they decide to create the ‘Non-Mum’s Online’ Facebook group; a judgement free space where like-minded women can vent their frustrations about the relentless pressures women face daily in our baby-obsessed society.
After the group takes off, tempers begin to rise and what began as a harmless rivalry spirals dangerously out of control; cafes become battle grounds and playgrounds become war zones. But someone is stoking this tension, one of their members is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and she has an agenda of her own.
Publisher : Penguin
Publication day 3rd May 2018 Paperback
“Poppy grinned at them. Her birthday was approaching next month. They must have been planning something special for her. Later, she hated that she could have been so naive.
‘Karleen! I didn’t see your car out front. There’s enough if you want dinner,’ she started to gabble, holding the soggy paper bag out in front, ‘provided I haven’t lost too much from the split container.’
‘Poppy, sit down, would you?’ Karleen motioned towards the bench seat opposite.
Poppy wasn’t overly taken aback. That’s what Karleen had always been like. Abrupt and commanding. But Garret’s silence started to worry her. Along with the fact that he wouldn’t meet her eyes.
Poppy dumped the food on the table and sat. ‘What’s up, guys? Is something wrong?’
‘You have to understand, Poppy,’ Karleen said, her voice even more emphatic than usual as she reached across to put one hand over the top of Poppy’s, her curly hair bouncing around her face, ‘we’re not doing this to hurt you.’
‘Sorry, what is it that I’m supposed to understand?’
Karleen continued as though Poppy hadn’t spoken. ‘And that’s why we want to be as upfront and honest as possible with you.’
‘Sorry,’ Poppy repeated, ‘what exactly are you telling me?’ She looked to Garret for clarification, because so far he’d remained quiet, had let Karleen do all the talking.
But he continued to stay silent.
‘It’s not the kind of thing we can control, Poppy,’ Karleen went on. ‘We didn’t mean for this to happen. We just fell, you know?’
A cool burning sensation was making its way up Poppy’s arms. It crept up her neck, it flushed her face.
‘You fell?’ Poppy tried again to catch Garret’s eye, but he wouldn’t look at her, refused to meet her gaze.
‘Yes,’ said Karleen. ‘We fell … in love.’
‘What? Don’t be ridiculous! This is a joke, right?’
‘No, Poppy, this is very, very serious. We’ve been sleeping together. We can’t lie to you anymore.’
Poppy snatched her hand out from under Karleen’s. She glared at her friend, willing her to tell her that it wasn’t true, that it was all a joke – a nasty practical joke – but a joke nonetheless. But instead Karleen simply held her gaze unflinchingly and Poppy was the one who had to break eye contact. She looked down at her trembling hands and saw black bean sauce under her fingernails. She stood and walked over to the sink, turned on the tap and started scrubbing at her fingers, digging under her nails with the dishcloth. A large black blowfly landed on the draining board next to her, twitched its wings and inched towards some crumbs left behind from breakfast. She automatically crouched down to fetch the fly swatter from the cupboard under the sink and then stopped. An image of her chasing a fly around the kitchen while Garret and Karleen waited for her to react to their news crossed her mind and she couldn’t tell if she was on the verge of tears or laughter. It all just felt so absurd. She straightened and saw that the fly was gone.”
About The Author
Nicola Moriarty is a novelist, copywriter and mum to two small (but remarkably strong-willed) daughters. In between various career changes, becoming a mum and studying at university, she began to write. Now, she can’t seem to stop. The Fifth Letter was her UK debut novel.