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Book Club – Strong women

Few things can shape the way you view the world like an inspiring book. Whether you are looking for a change of direction or something to mend a broken heart, Alana Lowes has found the perfect books filled with pages of powerful females. Ranging from historial to fiction, these titles cover a wide range of topics and will stay with your long after the last page.

Mary Lee

Denise George

Suffragist and social justice advocate Mary Lee was determined to leave the world a better place than she found it. The feisty 59 year-old widow, of limited means and with few family and friends, settled in Adelaide in 1879 and immediately set to work.

Undaunted by the opposition of antagonistic politicians and a conservative public, Mary thrust herself into high profile campaigns in support of female refuge, improving women’s working conditions and gaining women’s suffrage.

In 1894, South Australia became the first place in the world to pass legislation giving women the right to vote and be elected members of parliament, thanks in no small part to Mary Lee’s energy and committed determination. The disappearance of Mary Lee’s journals and most of her letters, along with a dearth of recorded women’s history, kept her contribution to history hidden for more than 125 years.

Undeterred, author Denise George travelled to Ireland and her painstaking examination of local records both there and in Adelaide revealed the compelling story

Wakefield Press

RRP $34.95


The Lost Pearl

Emily Madden

A sweeping family saga of long lost love. From Pearl Harbor to the shores of Sydney, a secret that spans generations could unite a family – or destroy it.

Honolulu, Hawaii 1941 and on the evening of her sixteenth birthday party, Catherine McGarrie wants nothing more than for the night to be over, even though the opulence of the ballroom befits the daughter of a US Navy Rear Admiral. Then she meets Charlie, a navy officer from the other side of the tracks, a man her parents would never approve of.

As rumours of war threaten their tropical paradise, Catherine and Charlie fall in love. But the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941 changes their lives forever.

Seventy-five years later, addled by age and painkillers, Catherine tells her granddaughter Kit her story and reveals the tale of a long-lost treasure. Can Kit uncover the secret and reunite her family? Or will the truth tear them apart?


RRP $29.99


Nurses of Australia

Deborah Burrows

Nurses are Australia’s most trusted profession, yet the fascinating and extensive history of nursing in Australia has never been told until now.

Nurses of Australia follows the unique history of Australian nurses. From the First Nations caregivers who healed, birthed and nursed for millennia, to the untrained and ill-equipped convict men and women of New South Wales, it would take the arrival of a group of dedicated Irish nuns, followed by Florence Nightingale-trained nurses and decades of constant and continuing campaigning to transform nursing into what it is today.

The book takes the reader on a visual journey, often in the nurses’ own words, beyond the hospital to explore bush, wartime, mental health, aged care and community nursing along with midwifery, the special bond formed between fellow nurses and the racism Indigenous nurses often experienced. Along with changing social status, readers will see uniforms change, as veils and capes disappear, hemlines are shortened and then replaced by scrubs. Portraits of nursing’s trailblazers and leaders show formidable women who took on archbishops, the medical fraternity, institutionalised racism and sexism – and won.

NLA Publishing

RRP $34.95


Table for Eight

Tricia Stringer

Clever, charming dressmaker Ketty Clift is embarking on her final cruise from Sydney before she must make serious changes in her life. Supported by the ship’s all–powerful maitre d’ Carlos, she has a mission: transform the lives of those who join her at her dining table every evening. Not only can Ketty turn Cinderella’s into princesses with her legendary style–eye, but she has a gift for bringing people together.

But this trip is different. As the glamour and indulgence of the cruise takes hold, and the ship sails further away from Sydney towards the Pacific Islands, it becomes clear that her fellow travellers – a troubled family, a grieving widower and an angry divorcee determined to wreak revenge on her ex – are going to be harder work than usual.

As Ketty tries to deal with her own problems, including the unexpected arrival on board of her long lost love, Leo, the man who broke her heart – as well as troubling news from home, she begins to realise this might be the one cruise that defeats her.


RRP $32.99


Long Road to Mercy

David Baldacci

Her name is Atlee Pine. She has unstoppable tenacity, always a fighter who is unwilling to cede any ground. She has endured real nightmares and she has the emotional and physical scars to show for it. And she got that long before she became an adult.

She is a FBI Special Agent assigned to the wilds of the western US. She has to cover, often solo, vast tracts of area: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona. Small towns, impossibly long distances in-between, isolation like most on the East Coast have never experienced, and an environment where anything can and does happen.

Working with the locals who respect, and also sometimes fear her, and have never really been allowed to know her, Atlee Pine turns her vast investigative skills and unmatched drive to find out the truth. Along the way she will revisit painful memories of her own, come to grips with what she is and what she might one day aspire to be. But in the end, she will have to confront not only a new monster, but also the old one of her nightmares.

Pan MacMillan

RRP $29.99