What if Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in early Sydney – had written a shockingly frank secret memoir?
What if Elizabeth Macarthur – wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in the earliest days of Sydney – had written a shockingly frank secret memoir? And what if novelist Kate Grenville had miraculously found and published it? That’s the starting point for A Room Made of Leaves, a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented.
Marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her heart, the search for power in a society that gave women none: this Elizabeth Macarthur manages her complicated life with spirit and passion, cunning and sly wit. Her memoir lets us hear – at last! – what one of those seemingly demure women from history might really have thought.
At the centre of A Room Made of Leaves is one of the most toxic issues of our own age: the seductive appeal of false stories. This book may be set in the past, but it’s just as much about the present, where secrets and lies have the dangerous power to shape reality. Kate Grenville’s return to the territory of The Secret River is historical fiction turned inside out, a stunning sleight of hand by one of our most original writers.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Terrific read or listen. This books brings Elizabeth to life. Fiction or not, it challenges a reader to see the woman as she was - not just as as she is portrayed in a history book.
I loved this book, for all the facts i learnt and the knowledge that these were special words from an incredible woman; the native language spoken, the description of the scenery at the time, that is until the final 10 minutes.
I feel cheated. Like i have to unlearn everything. So gimmicky.
I’d almost recommend people to listen to the final chapter first then start from the beginning.
I’m incredibly disappointed by this novel.
Also read in an Australian accent. She immigrated from England, could it not have been narrated in an English accent?