When Kate Grenville's mother died she left behind many fragments of memoir. These were the starting point for One Life, the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. In many ways Nance's story echoes that of many mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the twentieth century offered a path to new freedoms and choices. In other ways Nance was exceptional. In an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband's secret life as a revolutionary.
One Life is an act of great imaginative sympathy, a daughter's intimate account of the patterns in her mother's life. It is a deeply moving homage by one of Australia's finest writers.
Kate Grenville's bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville's other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian's Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History.
This was a delightful read from one of my favourite writers. The life time of Kate's mother Nance was similar to my own mother (1908-1998) and brought back memories of the stories of her life as a young woman. The choice was a career or motherhood, My mother succeeded in having a wonderful career as a Mother and I think Nance did too.
Kate Grenville has written a remarkable story about her mothers life. A real page turner.
A human story about life, human emotions ,sometimes gritty .sometimes raw,but above all of a determined loving and forgiving woman.