A moving story of love, loss and survival against the odds by bestselling author of The Last of the Bonegilla Girls, Victoria Purman.
It was never just a man's war...
War has engulfed Europe and now the Pacific, and Australia is fighting for its future. For spinster Flora Atkins, however, nothing much has changed. Tending her dull office job and beloved brother and father, as well as knitting socks for the troops, leaves her relatively content. Then one day a stranger gives her brother a white feather and Flora's anger propels her out of her safe life and into the vineyards of the idyllic Mildura countryside, a member of the Australian Women's Land Army.
There she meets Betty, a 17-year-old former shopgirl keen to do her bit for the war effort and support her beloved, and the unlikely Lilian, a well-to-do Adelaide girl fleeing her overbearing family and theworld's expectations for her. As the Land Girls embrace their new world of close-knit community and backbreaking work, they begin to find pride in their roles. More than that, they start to find a kind of liberation. For Flora, new friendships and the singular joy derived from working the land offer new meaning to her life, and even the possibility of love.
But as the clouds of war darken the horizon, and their fears for loved ones - brothers, husbands, lovers - fighting at the front grow, the Land Girls' hold on their world and their new-found freedoms is fragile. Even if they make it through unscathed, they will not come through unchanged...
'a well-researched and moving story' - Canberra Weekly
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Popular culture has tended to focus on the male experience of war, rather than stories of women’s involvement. This is rectified in The Land Girls, a luminous and insightful historical fiction by Victoria Purman. The book follows the lives of three very different women—Lily, Betty and Flora—as they enter the Australian Women’s Land Army, formed to combat labour shortages on farms during WWII. The book is meticulously researched, full of authentic details that brilliantly capture life in 1940s Australia. Its greatest strength is its shifting perspective, which captures the trials, tribulations and anguish of each of the main characters as they swap their old existence for a life of hard work and independence.
A wonderfully researched story of the Australian women who signed up for duty during the war, & finally were recognised for their contribution. I hope had I lived through that era I might have done the same. Loved this story of “the girls”.
The land girls
Quite good an easy read
Well written with some solid characters to root for
I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down. Wonderful to read about these great woman and what they did.