My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Women’s Pages covers an era with which I am familiar. Starting in the 1960s, the story of Ellis unfolds through the eyes and dreams of Dove, the novelist. The place of Wuthering Heights in the plot is physical as well as conceptual. The story speaks to the emancipation of women in Australia and the feminist movement. The casual denigration of women as acceptable, indeed, inevitable. There is a mention of Germaine Greer. I wonder if Ita Buttrose influenced Debra Adelaide in regards to Ellis’s character? The clichéd vice-president, “a cigar-chewing, pot-bellied man with a cheery geniality that barely cloaked his contempt …” could this be Kerry Packer – with a nod to his father, Sir Frank Packer?
Plot driven or character driven? the plot is quite convoluted but even so, the final denouement was barely a surprise – although the back-cover blurb calls it ‘astonishing’. One thing that will stay with me is how accurately and how beautifully Debra Adelaide shows the strength of the women.