This isn’t really a book I can say I enjoyed. It’s masterfully written, yes, and lives up to the forgotten treasure billing Harrower’s works have been given – but Jesus, it’s a difficult thing to get through.
Set in ’40s Sydney, it’s a story of constriction. Two sisters are marooned by their couldn’t-give-a-shit mother. An arranged marriage with an older man seals their fates, robbing them of educational opportunities and forcing them into servitude in the suburbs. Add in some on-again, off-again alcoholism and some domestic violence and misogyny and you’ve all the making of a Real Fun Time. Not. (more…)