The Mothers' Group

‘... it has that capacity that good social novels should have of creating meaning and intensity from what on the surface may appear to be ordinary ... Higgins looks at the difficult moment of becoming parents with an unflinching but powerful humanity. Like its Allen & Unwin stablemate, The Slap, The Mothers’ Group is a top-shelf novel about contemporary Australian life.’ - The Weekend Australian, Review,  Ed Wright. >> Read full review.

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'All those things no one ever tells you about motherhood. It's like secret mothers' business. Lots of my friends had babies before me, but not one of them ever told me it would be this hard...It's like a code of silence.'

The Mothers' Group tells the story of six very different women who agree to meet regularly soon after the births of their respective babies.

Set during the first crucial year of their babies' lives, The Mothers' Group tracks the women's individual journeys - and the group's collective one - as they navigate birth and motherhood as well as the shifting ground of their relationships with their partners.

  • GINIE, a successful lawyer 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.

Each woman struggles in her own way to become the mother she wants to be, and finds herself becoming increasingly reliant on the friendship and support of the members of the mothers' group. Until one day an unthinkably shocking event changes everything, testing their bonds and revealing closely-held secrets that threaten to shatter their lives.


Award-winning journalist Ellen Fanning in conversation with Fiona (2012)

The Mothers' Group