A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville (Hardback) – Our Review
ABIA Longlist 2021 – Literary Fiction Book of the Year
Warm and compassionate, Elizabeth Veale quickly realises she has made a horrible error in judgment when she marries John MacArthur, a man who is both emotionally cold and cunningly ambitious.
Pregnant with their child she has little choice but to follow him on a nightmarish voyage to a ragged penal colony that was Sydney Cove in 1790.
However Elizabeth is not content to simply do needlework in the parlour, she decides to both rise above, educate herself and also try to manage the machinations of her husband.
A Room of Leaves is a fascinating account of how a woman can stick to an unhappy marriage but find enough room within it to be her own person.
Kate Grenville’s writing is always lyrically beautiful, but for me the strength of A Room Made of Leaves is how vividly she brings this particular chapter of Australia’s history to life and how strongly the various characters resonate with you for long afterwards.
Review by Nicole @Great Escape Books