Author: Kate Grenville
Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Nov. 2, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8.5/10
The international bestselling author of The Secret River and A Room Made of Leaves returns with a fictionalised account of her grandmother’s life, commemorating a strong female character making the best out of the times and society she was born in.
Dolly Maunder is born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors are just starting to creak ajar for determined women. Growing up in a poor farming family in rural New South Wales, Dolly spends her life doggedly pushing at those doors. A husband and two children do not deter her from searching for love and independence.
Restless Dolly Maunder is a subversive, triumphant tale of a pioneering woman working her way through a world of limits and obstacles, who is able – despite the cost – to make a life she could call her own.
Nostalgic, sensitive, and intriguing!
Restless Dolly Maunder is an absorbing, fictional biography that sweeps you away to New South Wales during the late 1800s and into the life of the author’s maternal grandmother, Dolly Maunder, a woman who, after always craving something more than the simple farm life she only ever knew, successfully acquires business after business, from shops to boardinghouses to pubs, while at the same time creating a distance between herself and her children who were often left feeling disappointed, neglected and unloved.
The prose is insightful and authentic. The characters are strong, intelligent, and enterprising. And the plot is a tender tale of life, loss, love, family, sacrifice, determination, history, tragedy, selfishness, and ambition.
Overall, Restless Dolly Maunder is a heartfelt, illuminating, personal family tale by Grenville that reminds us that families are complicated and messy and the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.
This book is available now.
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Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.