This is the arresting cover for my client Fiona Higgins‘ debut novel The Mothers’ Group, which is published in April by Allen & Unwin. Australian readers, prepare to hear and see this book mentioned on TV, radio and newspapers – the publishers’ enthusiasm has infected booksellers and media, in the healthiest possible way. Not every author can hope for this kind of attention, but then this is an unusual book.
Name a taboo about being a new mother and Fiona shatters the silence around it in this story of six women drawn into each other’s orbit at a northern beaches suburb of Sydney by virtue of having given birth in the same month. The joys and trials of new-motherhood are only just the start of the bonds that will test the friendships between these women.
In early interviews it’s clear that Fiona is hitting a nerve with readers. Every woman who talks to Fiona after reading The Mothers’ Group shares something highly personal about her own experience of being a mother or of being mothered.
Fiona and I had worked closely together on her first book, the memoir Love in the Age of Drought. I helped her develop the manuscript, revise and edit it, and sell it. With this novel, Fiona’s first, I coached her through two revisions before I felt it was ready to send out to publishers. Happily for Fiona there was a robust contest to win the right to publish this novel, and here is the result.
The Mothers’ Group has now been sold to three countries in Europe prior to Australian publication. I’ll post more about the book’s path to publication when it’s out in the world and available to buy!
Here is Allen & Unwin’s author page for Fiona.