Book review – A Room Made of Leaves – Kate Grenville

A Room Made of Leaves by [Kate Grenville]I love Kate Grenville’s work anyway, so it was a massive treat to get a copy of this from NetGalley. Thank you.

This is the story of the early days of the wool industry in Australia. Very, very early – Elizabeth MacArthur travels to Australia with her totally unsuitable husband when the colony is still a convict settlement. I guess those early settlers had the choice to hate or to love their new home, to regret England, or embrace Australia. Elizabeth is canny enough to embrace things. She learns to manipulate her husband as much as possible – she’s a powerless woman in a man’s world.

The heat of Australia, the light, the bush – they shine through this book. Grenville is great at conjuring an atmosphere. She is also constantly aware of the impact of European settlement on the Aboriginal communities, reminding you of what was destroyed as well as created.

We should be in Australia at the moment, but the Corona virus put paid to that. This took me there, a little bit.

This is a great read. Look for other books by Grenville, too – The Secret River is another good read.

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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