A True Marvel

It took me far too long to read this book.

I wanted to read it in one sitting. I wanted to devour it. In the nicest possible way. In the way of The Wild Things – “I’ll eat you up, I love you so.” I wanted to hug it so hard it became part of me.

I kind of liked it.

But I read it far too slowly. I read it slowly because there were So Many Things devouring my time. Some of them were beautiful (Tiger). Some of them were workish and soul-enhancing (writing my own WIP). Some of them were workish and inspiring (a judging panel I’m on). Some of them were washing and vacuuming and washing up and making sure the child didn’t have too much dirt on her face. All of them meant I had less time for this book. And that was making me frustrated, until …

Until Joan Kirner died.

Which was sad, obviously. Which was horribly, horribly sad, because I grew up in awe of her. Because I grew up wanting to be her. Because, until I realised I have far too thin a skin and fragile an ego to go into politics, I was sure I’d be the Tasmanian version of her.

So when she died, I was heartbroken. But I was also glad that I was still reading this book. Because this book is a celebration of her, and all the women like her. It is a celebration of all the women stronger than me. It is a celebration of women like Julia Gillard. Like Christine Milne. Like Gillian Triggs. All the women who stand up and shout in a world where they are told to be quiet.

All the women I wish I was.

This is a powerful book. It’s a book that gave me hope for the next generation of powerful women. It’s also funny and romantic and sweet and beautiful and poignant and smart and has one of the coolest protagonists I’ve read in a YA in a long, long time. I wanted to adopt Frankie Mulvaney-Webb, until I realised she already had a damn fine mother (and my heart belongs to another damn cool kid).

It took me far too long to read this book. But every second of it was time well spent.

Next, I’m taking some time to read some (hurrah!!!) Tasmanian stuff, as I judge a young writer’s prize. This fills me with fear and wonder and excitement and hope and joy. It will be hard yakka, though, so I’ll spend my downtime starting the new Maureen McCarthy. I fear it may take me far too long to read that one, too …

One True Thing is published by Random House Australia and is available now.

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