For northern beaches mum Tori Haschka it started with a half joke that she often heard whispered next to swing sets while someone poured a glass of pink wine on a Friday afternoon. It was a question repeated by harried mums sharing pity bolognaise during croup season, at kindy pick‐up and drop‐off, and in waiting rooms for physiotherapists and psychologists: ‘Why don’t we live in a village of women?’
“It got me thinking … What would happen if a group of mums at breaking point, decided to ditch their spouses and create a ‘mummune’? They’d live together, share the load of chores, pick‐ups, drop‐offs, life admin and more. Would life in this utopian village really be all it’s cracked up to be? It was enough to get me writing,” said Haschka.
Set on Sydney’s Northern Beaches Tori’s debut novel, Grace Under Pressure is a smart and hilarious debut about three mums that are at breaking point when the men in their lives screw up spectacularly. In a show of solidarity, they move in together and create a ‘mummune’ – sharing the load of chores, school pick-ups/drop-offs and bills. The new set-up brings its own set of problems.
Grace Under Pressure is about the pressure to ‘do it all’ and the strain of no longer living with a village of support. It’s about the weight of unpaid labour, post‐natal anxiety, social media scrutiny and our culture of digital surveillance. It’s about mums’ facebook groups, kale smoothies and community. How the most important job we’ll potentially have, comes with the least amount of financial agency.
Haschka also says the book is mostly about the saving grace of female friendship.
“I hope this is a book that women will press on each other and chat about over wine and cheese. The sort of book that women will want to read in stolen moments – in bed with tea, on planes, trains and maybe even hiding in the bathroom! I would love nothing more than for women to see themselves – and their friends – in this novel and realise that they are not alone. And if I manage to give them a much needed laugh along the way, then my job is done.”
Tori Haschka is a published food and travel writer whose writing has been featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and The Times. She’s also appeared on the Today Show and ABC Radio and her blog www.eatori.com was ranked one of the five best food and travel blogs in the world by Saveur Magazine.
Grace Under Pressure is published in March 2021.