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About the Author: Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-known authors. She's published eight books of fiction and four books about the writing process. Her best-known works are the international best-seller The Secret River, The Idea of Perfection, The Lieutenant and Lilian's Story (details about all Kate Grenville's books are elsewhere on this site). Her novels have won many awards both in Australia and the UK, several have been made into major feature films, and all have been translated into European and Asian languages.


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Goodreads rating: 3.64

Paperback, Published in Jul 2007 by Canongate UK

ISBN10: 1841959952 | ISBN13: 9781841959955

Page count: 280

Shielded from emotional and physical abuse by layers of fat, Lilian struggles to escape a suffocating existence in the home of her tyrannical Victorian father and her elegant but ineffectual mother. Madness, cruelty, and sexuality permeate the family's upper-crust Australian world. Lilian Una Singer starts life at the beginning of the 20th century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family. She ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets, quoting Shakespeare. This book traces the progress of her life's journey, and why she made the choices she did. She's a person large in spirit as well as body, who wants to invent her own story, rather than allow it to be invented for her. Life presents her with many obstacles, including the sinister advances of her father—but in spite of this she succeeds. Triumphantly she makes her life her own, savoring every moment with the reminder that "everything matters."


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