Winner of the Comedy Women in Print Prize
‘Inspired and stylish’ Jenny Eclair
‘Original and witty’ Helen Lederer
Billie fled her Yorkshire upbringing to pursue her dreams of finding a cure for the illness which killed her mother, yet when her father gets sick, she must return home to save the farm.
But the transition from city girl to country lass isn’t easy, not least because leaving London means leaving her relationship with Joely Chevalier, French pharmaceutical femme fatale, just as it was heating up. And when she gets to Yorkshire, Billie’s shocked to discover the family dairy farm is in dire straits.
Battling misogyny, homophobia and the economic turmoil of a dairy crisis, can Billie find a way to save the farm, save the cows and save herself?
I have been very lucky this year to be involved in a small way in the Comedy Women in Fiction Prize and from it I discovered this funny, warm and glorious read. Cow Girl by Kirsty Eyre is simply put, an absolute joy to read. From the first page to the very last it made me laugh, cry and left me feeling utter joy from having been able to spend time with the triumph that is Billie!
This is comedy at it’s very best, because even though it tackles difficult subjects such a homophobia and illness, it does so in such as way that it engaged me not just in general as a reader, but one that struggles with comedy in books. To me it’s use often seems crass or unrefined, but in Cow Girl the humour is warm and uplifting, genuine and never forced and that felt so refreshing. Yes I shed a few tears, but within minutes Kirsty Eyre had once again reduced me to laughter and giggles and it felt good, it felt marvellous and positive. I guess your wondering where the comedy in a young, inteliigient girl looking for love on a dairy farm comes from, it comes from mishaps, missunderstandings and yes, from being the backend of a cow costume during a farming for justice protest march. Trust me, cows on the streets of sheffield equal laughter!
The characterisation is some of the best I have read this year. From Billie herself to her dad, her grandmother and friends, each feels like they could be a member of your family, your friends. They all felt alive, some crazy and zany, but I love crazy and zany and I adored each single one of them. Especially Billie who is looking for love and career progression, but ends up back home running her dads dairy farm and far away from her life in London. She comes across as venerable and lost, but with the help and love of her friends and family, has the chance to find her perfect life. Past girlfriends have not worked out, partly because Billie is fragile in many ways and the joy in this book, comes from the journey she takes to find love and friendship. I just found myself overjoyed in taking the journey with her, she is not only likeable, she is easy to love and I couldn’t help willing her to find herself worthy of devotion and affection. Most of all I wanted her with a passion to finally realise, she could live in the present and not always be trying to fit into other peoples lives, but make one for herself. Her spiited defence of her sexuality in one part of the story had me metaphorically fist pumping the air. I laughed with her and I could have spent so many more hours in her company, her dads, her gran, the vet oh and lets not forget the cows, they are characters in their own right and are rather fabulous. Frankly they rather deserve their own book, because the writer gives each one their own personality and it was joyful, sometimes sad, but always funny and uplifting.
I am sad the book is finished now, that I have read the last page. I want to start again. This book will without doubt be up there on my list of favourite reads of 2020. Because if it can make me smile and laugh right now, for me that makes it special. Those judges of the Comedy Women in Fiction Prize know their stuff, they picked a book worthy of winning any prize. Please buy Cow Girl, you won’t regret it. Warm, funny and witty from start to end.
Bravo Kirsty Eyre you have written a absoulute joy of a novel.
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About The Author
Kirsty Eyre is the winner of the inaugural Comedy Women in Print award (2019). Her debut novel, Cow Girl is out Summer 2020. She loves tea and hates her big toes.
She is threatening to wear a cow onesie in a bid to online launch Cow Girl, her debut novel during lockdown. She sends love and solidarity to everyone around the world. If you’re having a bad day, drink tea and give yourself a break…
Her writing credits include several comedy stage plays receiving great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Originally from Yorkshire, she now lives in South East London with her partner and two children.
COW GIRL is her debut novel and is out (audio/ eBook/ paperback) on June 25th 2020.
She is currently writing a comic novel about three sisters with Goddesses of Barnsley as the working title
You can follow her on @KirstyJaneEyre on Twitter