Lilian's Story: Reviews

"Kate Grenville has transformed an Australian myth into a dazzling fiction of universal appeal. It is a pleasure to be able to praise a true novelist." (Patrick White)

"Here is someone who can really write." (Peter Carey)

"The heroine of this very good Australian first novel . . . is bright, loud and fat. What makes this book special is the wild, bleak poetry of Lilian's inner life." (The Times, UK)

"Lilian's Story is spellbinding." (She Magazine, UK)

"Grenville's descriptions are eccentric but concise, and make vivid the conflict between Lilian's useful desires and the restraints of genteel family life." (The Times Literary Supplement, UK)

"We are plotting the course of a woman destined to become a mad old lady, a sour theme, but entirely lightened by the intensity of Kate Grenville's imagination. In its candour, lack of conventional judgement, acceptance of the peculiar nature of things and general jettisoning of the corsets of the social novel, Lilian's Story . . . takes you into another world, which is rare. (The Guardian, UK)

"This novel from Australia is a work of considerable beauty and power. Written in the first person in a sumptuous style, it . . . has an uncompromising vision behind it, and is told with honesty and virtuosity." (The New York Times Book Review, US)

"With this strikingly original first novel, Grenville joins the ranks of Australian women writers of remarkable strength and assurance." (Ms Magazine, US)

"This is a mesmerising tale of persecution, suffering perseverance, and strength of character. Lil is stupendous and unforgettable." (Booklist, US)

"Lilian's Story is a work of pure dramatic imagination." (The Washington Post, US)

"Lil Singer is an original, with her courage, spirit, and humour, and so is Grenville, who writes with an elegant intensity that pulls the reader in from first to last." (Kirkus Review, US)

"Grenville's prose is breathtaking and her novel is a miracle of characterisation . . . This is a rare and beautiful book." (The Boston Globe, US)

"Lilian's Story arrests, entertains, instructs and illuminates, reaffirming life and art at the same time. (Kansas City Star, US)

"A remarkable achievement." (Publisher's Weekly, US)

"Nothing in fiction is more beguiling than those characters who burst forth with an originality all their own . . . Lilian Singer is such a character. This fine novel is full of crackling wit and fanciful insights." (Boston Herald, US)

"Among the Australian novels of the last twenty years, Lilian's Story must have as high claims as any to be considered a classic . . . one of the grander pieces of Australian writing since the heyday of White and Stead. (Australian Book Review, Aust)

"Grenville's prose is breathtaking and her novel is a miracle of characterisation. A rare and beautiful book." (The Australian)

" Kate Grenville has brought Lilian to brilliant life, in a vigorous galloping lifting vivid prose that shouts out the power of the imagination." (Canberra Times, Aust)

"A stylistically adroit writer with a considerable talent for luminous prose . . . the book is consistently and sometimes extremely funny." (Age Monthly Review, Age)

"Lilian tells us her story in taut and witty prose. Grenville's wit and cleverness are of that kind which can remain affectionate to the foolish." (The Bulletin, Aust)

" It is admirable, both for the boldness of its imaginative aims and the assuredness of its achievement." (National Times, Aust)

"A novel of memorable images, witty lines and fine phrases. And it reads as though it were a delight to write." (The Weekend Australian)

"A beautifully told story." (The Age, Aust)

"The surprises and flourishes are in the evocative and poetic writing . . . the characters leap from the essence of their own words in this very moving and sometimes funny novel." ( Sydney Morning Herald, Aust)

"The exuberant story of a woman who is larger than life, both literally and in the spirit with which she strides through it." (Cleo, Aust)

"A stunning first novel. Intensely imagined and original." (Observer, UK)