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Stella’s book review

Young woman and an older woman, reading a book in the park

Time for a classic! The Aunt’s Story by Patrick White. White was the inaugural winner of the Miles Franklin, and is still the only Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, so I recently checked-out an original hard-cover copy of this novel from my local library.

Published in 1948, this is the third of White’s 12 novels, and his own personal favourite. It tells the story Theodora (Theo) Goodman, who lives under her domineering mother’s constant disapproval: Theo is plain and unconventional making her, in her mother’s eyes, unmarriageable.

After her mother’s death, a middle-aged, somewhat lonely Theo travels to France where she becomes involved with the group of residents of a small hotel where she is staying. Or does she?

It’s not clear if Theo is hallucinating or not. This story demands something of the reader, the answers are not all laid out, which makes it richly rewarding reading.

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