Last Chance Cafe

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2011 - Aging - 381 pages
Margot detests shopping malls. Any distraction is welcome, and the woman who has chained herself to the escalator, shouting about the perils of consumerism, is certainly that. She recognises Dot immediately - from their time campaigning for women's rights, and further back still, to the heyday of the Sydney Push when Margot married Laurence. Dot is in despair at the abandonment of the sisterhood, at the idea of pole dancing as empowerment and the sight of five year-olds with false eyelashes and padded bras. She's still a fierce campaigner, but these days she isn't sure where to direct her rage. Margot's despair is quieter; a haunting resentment that her youthful ambitions have always been shelved to attend to the needs of others. And as the two women turn to the past for solutions for the future, Margot's family is in crisis. Laurence sets off on a journey in a bid to repress his grief, daughter Lexie loses the job that has been her life for twenty years, and her younger sister Emma hides her pain with shopping binges that plunge her into debt. Once again, with aching empathy, Liz Byrski assembles a fallible cast of characters who are asking the questions we ask ourselves. What does it mean to grow older? Are we brave enough to free ourselves from the pressure to stay young? And is there ever a stage in life when we can just be ourselves?

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User Review  - vietnambutterfly - LibraryThing

The challenges and issues faced by several women and their family in contemporay Australia. many of these women had met in pubs and cafes in the 60's as they were part of the Women's movement. Noe ... Read full review

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User Review  - oldblack - LibraryThing

This is a quite readable story which, despite being a little contrived in places, has enough realism to keep me interested. What's more, I was even emotionally involved at times, but that may be more ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Elizabeth Ann Byrski was born on February 3, 1944 in London. She is an Australian writer and journalist. After graduating from Notre Dame Convent in Lingfield, Surrey, in 1960, Byrski furthered her education at the Crawley College of Further Education (1960-61) and the Wall Hall College of Education (1973-74). Her journalism career began when she started as a journalist in 1962 on the Horley Advertiser, in Horley, Surrey. She moved to Australia in 1981. As a freelance journalist Byrski's work has appeared in the Australian Financial Review, The West Australian, The Australian, The Age, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, and The Dominion, Homes and Living, New Idea, Cosmopolitan and SkyWest In-Flight. In 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996 she was a broadcaster and executive producer at ABC 720 6WF in Perth. She has won several awards for her journalism, including the Radio Prize at the 1996 WA Media Awards and the CSIRO WA Award for Excellence in Science Journalism in the same year, and Equal Opportunity Awards for Radio Journalism in 1994, 1995 and 1996. She is the author of thirteen nonfiction books including, Remember Me; Getting On: Some Thoughts on Women and Ageing, and Love and War: Nursing Heroes. The Woman Next Door, is the latest of her nine novels, which also include, Gang of Four, In the Company of Strangers and Family Secrets.

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