Dolly Maunder was born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors were finally starting to creak ajar for women. Born into a poor farming family in country New South Wales but clever, energetic and determined, she spent her restless life pushing at those doors.
Most women like Dolly have more or less disappeared from view, remembered only in a family photo album as a remote figure in impossible clothes, and maybe for a lemon-pudding recipe. Restless Dolly Maunder brings one of them to life as a person we can recognise and whose struggles we can empathise with.
In this novel, Kate Grenville uses family memories and research to imagine her way into the life of her grandmother. This is the story of a woman born into a world of limits and obstacles who was able—though at a cost—to make a life for herself. Her battles and triumphs helped to open doors for the women who came after.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Dark Places and the Orange Prize winner The Idea of Perfection. Her recent non-fiction includes One Life: My Mother’s Story, The Case Against Fragrance and Elizabeth Macarthur’s Letters. Her most recent novel is the bestselling A Room Made of Leaves. She has also written three books about the writing process. In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.
‘There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers.’ Sunday Mail
‘[Grenville] is a gift of a writer.’ Age
‘Excellent…So beautifully observed and written…An accomplished novel with all the experience that a writer like Kate Grenville brings to her work…Really a superb piece of work.’ Leigh Sales on A Room Made of Leaves
‘Vividly rendered, warmly sympathetic, daring in speculative breadth: a full-length portrait in oils of a woman known to most of us only in profile miniature…If Grenville’s novel is inspired by provocation, it unfolds as a feeling, organic story.’ Australian on A Room Made of Leaves
Magnificent story, magnificently written.
I rarely give 5 stars. But this compelling story is so beautifully written that I couldn’t put it down.