Author(s): Victoria Purman
From the bestselling author of The Land Girls comes a beautifully realised novel that speaks to the true history and real experiences of post-war Australian women. Sydney 1945 The war is over, the fight begins. The war is over and so are the jobs (and freedoms) of tens of thousands of Australian women. The armaments factories are making washing machines instead of bullets and war correspondent Tilly Galloway has hung up her uniform and been forced to work on the women's pages of her newspaper - the only job available to her - where she struggles to write advice on fashion and make-up. As Sydney swells with returning servicemen and the city bustles back to post-war life, Tilly finds her world is anything but normal. As she desperately waits for word of her prisoner-of-war husband, she begins to research stories about the lives of the underpaid and overworked women who live in her own city. Those whose war service has been overlooked; the freedom and independence of their war lives lost to them. Meanwhile Tilly's waterside worker father is on strike, and her best friend Mary is struggling to cope with the stranger her own husband has become since being liberated from Changi a broken man. As strikes rip the country apart and the news from abroad causes despair, matters build to a heart-rending crescendo. Tilly realises that for her the war may have ended, but the fight is just beginning...
Dove is writing a novel for herself, for her mother and for their literary heroines. It describes the life of Ellis, an ordinary young woman of the 1960s troubled by secrets and gaps in her past. Having read Wuthering Heights to her dying mother, Dove finds she cannot shake off the influence of that singular novel: it has infected her like a disease. In grief's aftermath, she follows the story Wuthering Heightshas inspired to discover more about Ellis, who has emerged from the pages of fiction herself - or has she? - to become a modern successful career woman. The Women's Pages is about the choices and compromises women make, about their griefs and losses, and about the cold aching spaces that are left when they disappear from the story. It explores the mysterious process of creativity, and the way stories are shaped and fiction is formed. Right up to its astonishing conclusion, The Women's Pages asserts the power of the reader's imagination, which can make the deepest desires and strangest dreams come true.
"Tender, wise and extraordinary reading." - The Guardian "A satisfyingly complex novel, which offers the pleasures of a well-told story, a page-turner" - Australian Book Review