Book Reviews

A Free Country: Australians’ Search for Utopia 1861 – 1901

A Free Country: Australians’ Search for Utopia 1861 – 1901 is the second volume in a five part series that “describes the dominant stream of ideas behind this country’s development, the stream of liberalism…the volume is…carefully illustrative of the history, influence and adoption of the dominant ideas animating that development” (Philip Ayres in Quadrant, 5th February 2019).

Ayres’s conclusion is a useful place to begin my own review of the subsequent volume. Ayres provides an impartial look at Kemp’s statement that “as the prospective founders of the new nation reflected…they were all of the view that liberal democracy in Australia … Read the rest

When She Was Good

When reviewing The Secrets She Keeps, Queensland Reviewers Collective’ writer Angela Marie raised the issue of secrecy as a concept and, depending on the secret to a lesser or greater degree of seriousness, introduced the concept of the Lie. In the context of Michael Robotham’s writing, the Lie partners the Secret in the literary dance, the former building an outer protective shell to make a comfortable home for the latter. This is very clearly the case in the present volume.

As the plot develops the Secret and the Lie interact inexorably if not predictably.
We experience a seesawing of emotion … Read the rest