Lilian's Story (1985)

Lilian's Story, Kate Grenville's first published novel, is part of a loose trilogy that includes Dark Places and Joan Makes History.

Lilian Una Singer starts life at the beginning of the twentieth 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 for a living. 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 obstacles: the fact that she's a woman, and the sinister advances of her father – but in spite of all this she succeeds. Triumphantly she makes her life her own, savouring every moment with the reminder that "everything matters."

In 1984 Lilian's Story won the Vogel/Australian Prize for an unpublished manuscript.

Dark Places, a companion novel to Lilian's Story, tells the story of Lilian's incestuous father, from his point of view. In Joan Makes History, a third novel in this loose triology, Lilian is a friend and fellow-adventurer of the everywoman Joan as she travels through history.

Lilian's Story is published in Australia by Allen & Unwin