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William Heinemann Australia, Jan 1, 1994 - Australian fiction - 188 pages
2 Reviews
Kathleen is facing old age alone. Her husband gone, she finds herself, much to her distress, slowly losing her capacity for memory. She despises her children's callousness and self-absorption: her son "Brain" is too caught up in pursuing his own illusive freedom and identity; her daughter Shamrock and Shamrock's ruthless land-developing husband have neither the patience nor the empathy to allow Kathleen to live as she pleases. Faced with losing everything she loves or once loved, Kathleen is forced to take drastic action, while there is still time, to hold on to her beloved freedom, by running away.

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User Review  - AJBraithwaite - LibraryThing

Such a sad little story of an elderly woman's life, memories, eventual decay into senility but with a steely backbone of defiance and humour which stops it becoming too depressing. Loved the Australian setting and vocabulary. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A spare, sharp-boned bird of a novel, whose song is wrenchingly sad yet full of indomitable spirit. Astley (The Slow Natives, 1993, etc.) writes of old age, of life slipping past and freedom lost, and ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Thea Astley was born in Brisbane in 1925. She attended the University of Queensland before teaching in both Queensland and New South Wales. She was on the staff at Macquarie University in Sydney from 1968 to 1980. Astley has won the Miles Franklin Award four times: The Well Dressed Explorer in 1962, The Slow Natives in 1965, The Acolyte in 1972, and Drylands in 2000. Astley's novel, The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, was nominated in 1997 for the Miles Franklin Award. Thea Astley is featured on the Albert Street (Brisbane) literary trail, which commemorates authors who have used Brisbane as a locale.

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