It is 1941. Eighteen-year-old Ruby leaves behind the family farm, her serious mother and roguish father, and heads for Adelaide. After a brief courtship, she enters into a hasty marriage with a soldier about to go to war — who returns a changed man.
In this absorbing novel, Anna Goldsworthy recreates the world of Adelaide half a century ago, and portrays the phases of a woman’s life with intimacy and sly humour. We follow Ruby as she contends with her damaged husband and eccentric in-laws. We see her experience motherhood and changing social circumstances, until, in a moving twist, a figure from the past reappears, to kindle a late-life romance.
In her captivating fiction debut, Goldsworthy evokes a woman’s life in a pre-feminist world. In this tender, funny book, she combines an Austenesque wit with Alice Munro’s feeling for human complexity.