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They detained her until Houston police arrived to arrest and charge her. Harris County Criminal Court in Houston could have jailed her for 60 days - the maximum sentence for a class B misdemeanor - but were initially lenient with Loan when they saw her a week later on July 5. She was ordered to carry out 40 hours community service and submit to random urine tests. She was also given an offender identification card which she had to carry at all times and take part in an anti-shoplifting program. But Loan had other plans.

She chose not to report to a community supervisor, carry out community service or pay supervising fees. On May 4, , police from the City of Pearland, a suburb of Houston, arrested Loan for breaching the probation order. She served 30 days. It was through mutual friends there that, in September , she met Shion Guan, almost four years her junior and studying civil engineering after moving to Texas from Japan.

Shion had been popular with his fellow Texas Tech students, spending his free time with them playing computer games and the card game 'Magic: The Gathering'. The family lives in a six-bedroom home in Cypress, Texas, 25 miles northwest of Houston, which regularly features in their videos. By November Shion and Loan were inseparable. The couple stayed together despite Loan graduating from the university in with a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences. Loan gained a Texas educator certificate in April and became a high school chemistry teacher. She also became certified to teach English as a second language.

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With his new degree in hand, he returned to Houston in and married Loan on August 10 that year. He then began work as a structural engineer. In March , the family created the YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview, featuring their then three-year-old son unboxing and reviewing toys. One post, four months after launching, shows Ryan reviewing an easter egg from the Pixar film 'Cars'.

It has now been seen million times. By November , Shion Guan and Loan were inseparable. On September 27, , their son Ryan Haruto Nguyen was born. By September , the channel had become the most-popular in the US, with 4 million subscribers and its videos having been watched 6. Loan is credited with seeing the money-making potential of setting up a YouTube channel hosted by her son Ryan. In , Ryan's parents went to court for an order adjudicating parentage so their son could officially use his father's last name, Guan.

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Because he had been born before his parents married, under Texan law he had to use his mother's maiden name Nguyen. The Guan family's fortunes jumped even further later that year when they signed a deal with brand licensing company Pocket. Currently boasting seven YouTube channels and 30 million subscribers, the family has 80 deals through Pocket.

The Guan family has 80 deals through brand licensing company Pocket. Footage from a Chevron Island supermarket catches one woman placing one item in her shopping basket, and another in her handbag. When a staff member approaches the blonde woman, it seems she thinks she has been sprung, and frantically moves the goods from her handbag into the shopping basket. The aggressive mums, with broad Irish accents, have targeted businesses in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. The women have visited Brisbane pawn shop Monty's several times. They have even hit retailers and beauticians, gaining notoriety for ripping off restaurants by planting glass in meals to get a free feed, often worth hundreds of dollars.

It seems their expensive taste isn't just for food, either. On January 30, a pair of shoes was stolen from a Chanel boutique. The suspects - two women with a pram and two small children - were caught on camera. Police are investigating if the group is linked to a man who was recently arrested in Broadbeach over a similar scam. Jun 17, Rachael rated it really liked it.

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There are some great reviews of this book on its goodreads. This in no way influences the comments that follow. I really enjoyed this book. I wondered though, about the question of "the reader in the book". Do you have to be a mother to enjoy this book? Do you have to have experienced a mother There are some great reviews of this book on its goodreads.

Do you have to have experienced a mothers' group? Does it help if you're female? I'm not sure, for instance, that my hubby would enjoy this book. He has read other "chick lit" type novels I've read and enjoyed them, but this one, I'm not sure. I could relate to these mostly modern women. I know mothers who've experienced some of the issues in the book.

Others I've experienced myself. There were funny moments, there were gasp out loud moments. It's difficult to foresee the event that so radically impacts on the group and the far reaching consequences. Other elements seem a little obvious though Having said that, I did enjoy it! I was reflecting recently on my star ratings on goodreads.

I decided that four stars is a book I enjoyed and a book I would recommend. This one has already been lent to a friend. I hope she enjoys it. It was a good read for me. Jun 12, Kate rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction , australian-author , This book follows the lives, and emerging friendship of a group of five women who had been thrown together by a local organisation for no other reason than they are new, first time mothers within their local community.

The book is divided into five chapters. Each chapter throws the spotlight on a particular member of the group; her life leading to motherhood and her point of view. This was an easy read. It was not as tightly written as I would have liked, and quite predictable in many areas. Ther This book follows the lives, and emerging friendship of a group of five women who had been thrown together by a local organisation for no other reason than they are new, first time mothers within their local community.

There were a number of inconsistencies within the text, some of which were distracting, while others affected one's sense of authencity. The character of Digby, I felt, was too over-the-top. His consistently atrocious behaviour did not seem plausible, justified or believable, though parents may relate to some of his antics. I think Higgins does a good job of touching on the realities of new motherhood and the many surprise challenges one finds in the early months.

Those who have been there will relate to at least one of the characters. This book is reminiscent of The Slap, though I don't place it in the same league. Dec 08, Janine rated it liked it Shelves: australian-fiction , aussie-author , chick-lit. Even though it is a mighty long time since I was part of a Mother's Group, this book brought it all back. Was a bit confusing at times with the different Point of Views but at least that helped with the back stories of the characters.

I did enjoy this and will read her next one. Jun 21, Janelle rated it liked it Shelves: read-in , books-i-own. I was drawn to this book, as a Mum of one who was part of an active mothers group in the early days of becoming a new parent. Of course, I could relate to some of the struggles being dealt with by the new Mums in "The Mothers Group", and I appreciated the author's honesty and accuracy in laying issues out on the table such as post-natal depression, post-birth physical trauma, relationships, marriage, single parenting etc.

These were written about realistically and I truly believed the character's I was drawn to this book, as a Mum of one who was part of an active mothers group in the early days of becoming a new parent. These were written about realistically and I truly believed the character's reactions and feelings as they came up at various points throughout the book. I also think the author nailed the dynamic of the mothers group, with a sense of awkardness to begin with, and then allowing the characters to become more closely connected as the book went on although I felt it almost seemed to jump from one to the other, missing the "middle ground".

But my parting feelings on this book after finishing it are only lukewarm. For starters, while I agree that many people have secrets and even secret lives, and what happens in the homes of new parents often stays there for fear of being judged or ridiculed in the outside world or even in front of loved ones , I felt that some of the struggles being dealt with by the mothers were far-fetched and seemed more conducive to an episode of "Days of our lives" then a story of a mothers group in Sydney.

As can be gathered from reading the blurb on the back cover, a tragic incident takes place and affects the lives of all of the characters. This event was so horrific, every parent's worst nightmare, and took a lot out of me to get through reading it.

The author seems to shove your emotions over a precipice with so much force, demanding your attention as the incident suddenly occurs and turns the whole story on its head. In one way I want to applaud the author, I felt a strong emotional toll as I made my way through the most terrifying portion of the book, evidence that the event had been delivered well and with raw detail. On the other hand, as a reader I felt like I deserved something in return for having endured through such rocky terrain as I did. I'm not sure what I was after, perhaps feeling a strong connection to one or more of the characters, or being left with an empowering moral imprint, but I sure didn't feel like I'd received my "due".

I just didn't quite get what the point was of willingly being led down the dark and terrifying path, only to come out of the other side feeling drained? I can see this being made in to some kind of TV drama in the near future, with visions of social media hype much like we saw with "The Slap". Jun 12, Kathy rated it it was amazing.

I wasn't sure what to expect from a book called 'The Mothers' Group' but Australian author Fiona Higgins has done a fabulous job of connecting the reader with a group of 6 very different first time mothers. Nothing can prepare any of us with first time motherhood but Higgins very easily highlights the highs and lows, showing such insightful, thought provoking storylines, i found it hard to bring the book to a close.

A completely honest portrayal of motherhood, friendships, marriage and also grie I wasn't sure what to expect from a book called 'The Mothers' Group' but Australian author Fiona Higgins has done a fabulous job of connecting the reader with a group of 6 very different first time mothers.

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A completely honest portrayal of motherhood, friendships, marriage and also grief. Loved it Apr 29, Cecile rated it it was amazing. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood and Australian author Fiona Higgins does a marvellous job of highlighting this realization for the six central characters of 'The Mothers' Group'. This novel is an honest portrayal of life as a modern mother. In her relaxed easy to read style Higgins shines a light on the truth of first time motherhood whilst also compelling her reader with insights into marriage, sex, friendship and ultimately, love.

A thought provoking yet thoroughly rewarding read. Apr 14, Monique rated it it was amazing. I quite simply loved this book. Downloaded on the Kindle at pm and finished that night. It really rattled along. In fact, there are few books that I finish and I think 'mmmm that could have been longer'.

I loved the northern beaches setting. All very familiar. Mar 30, Bree T rated it it was amazing Shelves: aww , australian. The women are all quite different — Ginie is 39, a career woman who earns the big bucks as a venture capital lawyer.

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She meets, becomes pregnant to and marries the younger Daniel in a whirlwind six months. Ginie finds herself restless at home, keen to return to work both because she wants to and because the money she earns funds their lifestyle. Made pronounced like Ma-day is 22 and from Bali. Married to a much older man who married her and brought her to Australia away from virtual poverty, her English is still halting and she finds it hard to keep up with other women when the conversation becomes rapid.

Made still practices her traditions and is quietly philosophical and mature well beyond her years. Suzie is in her late twenties and alone. Her boyfriend left her when she was 7 months pregnant with their daughter and now Suzie is a single mother, struggling to make ends meet. She has almost no support other than her former boyfriends mother, with whom she has a tenuous relationship. A free spirit, a believer in naturopathy, Suzie runs a home business in massage therapy to make ends meet.

When she meets a handsome, charismatic man at her local coffee shop, she thinks her fortunes might be about to change. Miranda is the only one of the women who is looking after more than one child. Her new husband Willem, father of baby Rory also has a son named Digby from a previous relationship where he lost his wife. Miranda struggles to bond with Digby after Willem dismisses the nanny, struggling to cope with a rambunctious and precocious toddler and a newborn often on her own for long periods of time when Willem travels for work.

Miranda is hiding a secret on just how she is coping, from everyone. Pippa married her childhood sweetheart and had a traumatic birth with baby Heidi, still suffering some months later. Cara is the one that makes everyone feel welcome, who smooths over the awkward moments and diffuses any moments of tension that might arise with this group of very different women.

Her baby Astrid is the go-getter of the group, crawling and walking early. These women, thrown together by circumstance, form a very interesting and tenuous friendship, something that is shattered one afternoon. What should be a celebration turns to devastation and the revelations will threaten to blow the entire group apart for good.

Oh my god, this book. I had heard amazing things about it and I bought it without really knowing too much about it, just that it had received some good reviews from people I know. My husband went to the football yesterday and then straight to work from that so he was gone over 12 hours. After I got the children into bed, my reward was this book. And was it worth it!

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Fiona Higgins brilliantly captures first time motherhood emotions and conflicts and what it can feel like to have a tiny, squalling newborn thrust upon you. The book is divided up into sections about each of the women, their background and how they came to be experiencing motherhood at this particular time in their life. Despite their differing personalities, slowly the women come to move from meeting out of duty to meeting out of necessity and want.

The book is engrossing as it sets up the group, introducing us to the women and their babies, exploring their backgrounds and establishing the connection that inevitably builds. It steps up another notch as the reader makes a discovery and then it goes up even more when an afternoon that should be a wonderful celebration for them all culminates in utter tragedy.

It is devastating to read and I became glad my husband was at work because he makes fun of me when I cry reading books! This story was utterly compelling and then utterly horrific. It was car crash reading — painful but I was utterly unable to put the book down, I had to keep going. It is the sacrifice we have made to be parents together and I do think this issue is brilliantly explored.

There were too many of us and the town was unsuitable to hold post-maternal health organised gatherings. Mar 01, Meegy rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent first novel by this Author! Absolutely loved it and so insightful to the lives of different women. As a Mother myself I did cry a lot near the ending What a ride for all the women in this book and loved how we got to know each Mother in their own Chapters and how all the things tied together.

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May 20, Kaz Kershaw rated it really liked it. Relatable, hilarious in parts and utterly heartbreaking in others, this is an easy read that anyone who has had a child will identify with. Aug 07, Melanie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I will start this review by saying that I have never attended a Mother's Group of my own, I have sat in on my sisters once and after that experience I knew Mother's Groups weren't for me. I find them too bitchy, a little too "Ginie. Chapter 1 was Ginie, an older mum at 39 who is a lawyer and used to having a fast paced life.

She came across very judgemental, holier-than-thou and quite frankly n I will start this review by saying that I have never attended a Mother's Group of my own, I have sat in on my sisters once and after that experience I knew Mother's Groups weren't for me. She came across very judgemental, holier-than-thou and quite frankly not a nice person.

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The remarks she made about Made being a mail-order bride made me dislike her instantly. Ginie is not a likeable character. Chapter 2 is Made pronounced Ma-Day. Made is a Balinese woman who is married to an Australian husband. Made and Gordon met in Bali before moving to Australia. Straight away I liked Made, she reminded me of a Thai friend of mine.

So honest, so open and so willing to help. She struggles with English and finds it hard to keep up with the pace of the Mother's Group but she is a great wife and mother to Wayan. Chapter 3 is Suzie, a single mother after her boyfriend walked out on her at 7 months pregnant. Her daughter is very unsettled and she is finding it hard to offer sympathy when the married members of the group are bagging out their husbands for not offering enough support. Chapter 4 is Miranda.

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  5. She is married to Willem and is helping to raise Willem's son from a previous marriage as well as raising Rory the newborn. Digby Miranda's stepson is hyperactive, hard to control and I always thought on the Autism Spectrum. He challenges her daily and Miranda is not coping with her husband's work trips away along with stay and home parenting.

    Chapter 5 is Pippa. After a traumatic birth, Pippa is finding it hard to bond with baby Heidi. She suffers from Post-natal depression and also finds it hard to fit into the Mother's Group. Later in the book she will call on her Mothers Group friends to help her out when she is in hospital. Chapter 6 is Cara.