Skip to main content

More titles to consider

Loading...

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
itemsitem
itemsitem

Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
16 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
11 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
2 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
1 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
0 reviews have 1 stars

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • Historical Fiction WW II Australia

    Sydney Australia, Tilly Galloway shares a flat with her friend Mary Smith; their husbands are prisoners of war and have been captured by the Japanese. Tilly has only ever received one post card from Archie when he was first taken prisoner and Mary prays every Sunday at church for her husband Bert’s safe return. Tilly grew up in Millers Point Sydney a working class suburb; she and her sister Martha have two loving parents. Their father Stan is a wharfie, he works hard unloading ships, lumping heavy bags of wheat and he’s a member of a trade union. Elsie her mum loves her big strong hubby Stan and very proud of her two beautiful daughters. Australian women bravely send their sons and husbands off to fight in WW II and many remembered what happened during the previous war. They spent the war years constantly worrying about the telegram boy arriving at their front door, looking after children, knitting socks, sending care packages overseas, they had no idea what post war Australia would be like and how the war would affect husbands and sons. Younger women or women with no children worked outside the home, making blankets, uniforms, they joined the Australian Women’s Land Army picking fruit and harvesting vegetable crops. Others worked in offices; they replaced men who were off fighting for their country and their fellow allies. Tilly was a secretary and during the war she became a reporter for the Daily Herald and she loved the challenge of her new job. Once the war in the Pacific ended, the men slowly started returning to Australia and Tilly was expected to give up her job as a reporter. She was given another role at the news paper writing for the Women’s Pages, giving fashion advice and make up tips. Tilly had a taste of independence, earned her own money and supported herself. Tilly struggled with this, she found it very unfair she was good at her job and yet she had to give it up. To keep her boss Mr. Sinclair happy and accept men needed to earn money, they were the main bread winners of the family and that’s how it had always been. Mean while Tilly is still waiting desperately for news about Archie, Mary’s praying worked as Bert was one of the lucky ones to survive Changi, he struggled to fit back into everyday life, no one could understand what he had been through and not even his wife. The Japanese ignored the Geneva Convention; they worked and starved prisoners of war to death. Tilly had written endless letters to Archie, waited patiently for him to come home so they could start a family and begin the life they had planned. As time went on Tilly had no news in regards to what happened to Archie, she was really worried and what could she do? The Women’s Pages acknowledges and describes the challenges Australian women faced during WW II and you read about every day life in Australia at the time and after the war ended. How men returning home from war struggled, they were expected to carry on like they had never left, they received no help, and it was very hard for them and their families. Victoria Purman’s books are always well researched; they never disappoint or leave you wanting more and are a pleasure to read. I gave The Women’s Pages five stars; thanks Harlequin Australia for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Captivating Australian historical fiction.

    The Women’s Pages is the seventeenth novel by best-selling Australian author, Victoria Purman. Home before Christmas. That is the mantra they all cling to, when Victory in the Pacific is declared on August 15th, 1945. All the families waiting for their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews to come home, all reassure each other with this. Some, too, are waiting on daughters, sisters, aunts… The Daily Herald’s only female War Reporter, Tilly Galloway is realistic enough to understand that not all of them will come home. There has been no word from, or about, her husband, Archie, for over three years, since he was captured by the Japanese in Rabaul, and the forty precious letters she does have are treasured and regularly reread. She’s held the post for three years, and the censorship of news has been a real frustration, but not as much as the fact that she is relegated to describing the women’s angle on every story, rather than the real news the men get to report. Tilly has had to rise above the sexual discrimination against female journalists, including the belief that women cannot be trusted with secrets because they are inclined to gossip. When those men do start returning, it’s a bittersweet celebration for Tilly, but she maintains her professional demeanour as she interviews the waiting families for background colour. Those servicemen who did not give their lives for their country are welcomed with open arms; some bring their faithful, unsuspecting wives the unwelcome souvenir of disease; some choose to abandon their waiting spouse for a newer model; some women belatedly learn that they have been a widow longer than they had been a wife. The return of POWs is delayed by the need for treatment and nutrition: these men are emaciated and scarred, both physically and mentally. When reports of atrocities by the Nazis and the Japanese emerge, and Tilly’s friend, colleague and mentor, George Cooper shares disturbing information, Tilly is overcome by a sinking dread for her husband’s fate. “The army carefully chose the healthiest ones to come home first. And even then, they’d already had weeks in hospital to get some meat on their bones. To get treated for what was ailing them. To find new uniforms to cover up what lies underneath. There’s still not much more than skin and bone under all that khaki. That whole thing was a public relations exercise and the paper fell for it, we all fell for it, because that’s what Australians want to see”, The other side of the coin is that, with the men returning, the many women who have kept the country running are suddenly made redundant. Tilly’s editor tells her: “Take a turn at making a home for Archie and raising a family. We need to find jobs for the men so they can have the satisfaction again of being the breadwinner in their families.” Tilly is incensed, too, by the appalling lack of support for war widows. Purman’s protagonist exhibits a steely determination and the novel would have benefited from editing some of the repetition in the first section in favour of extending into Tilly’s post-war career. Purman easily captures her setting and era; her extensive research is apparent on every page, and the inclusion of many iconic Sydney landmarks will add appeal for anyone who has visited the city. Through the eyes of Tilly Galloway, Purman richly illustrates how radically the war changed life for the women of Australia. Proving their capability in occupations formerly the exclusive domain of men, women would eventually earn recognition and a measure of independence, permitting them a career beyond housewife and mother. It sowed the seeds of feminism and the fight for equal pay. Captivating Australian historical fiction. This unbiased review is from a copy provided by NetGalley, Better Reading Preview, The Book Stack and HQ Fiction

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Very enjoyable

    The Women’s Pages is a historical fiction book, featuring a healthy dose of feminism, set just at the end of WW2. During the war, like many other women across Australia, our lead, Tilly, has found herself with more responsibility in the job arena, going from a secretary, to a more fulfilling role of a newspaper war correspondent. Afterwards, of course, the men return and she is relegated back to the ‘women’s pages’. Tilly and the reader slowly realise, however, that women have been through quite a lot during the war, albeit in a different way to the men who’d enlisted, and relating women’s stories means the ‘women’s pages’ can be far from frivolous. Purman’s style is interesting and not completely usual. She doesn’t write chronologically, but she also doesn’t write in one time period and then present a flashback in another. Instead, she moves back and forth in time periods in such a way that she layers her plot and characters. It took me a moment to get used to but, once I did, I found her style (and thus the book) quite captivating. Not only did Purman include the plot of women realising they wanted more satisfying careers after the war, she touched on many other subjects which Australians struggled with at the time: PTSD, poverty, food rationing, housing shortages, to name a few. There’s also some we are still struggling with today, such as the bias of newspapers towards their preferred political parties and the inequity of wage rates for women compared to men. Purman’s writing includes lots of lovely details and her historical facts woven through Tilly’s story were often thought provoking and educational. I had no idea the government had censored so many details of the war, for example. The passages featuring the atrocities against the Australian POWs were particularly heartbreaking. Tilly’s father’s occupation as a wharfie gave Purman the excuse to add another Sydney waterside suburb into the mix. If you’re looking for a historical fiction book which shows off Sydney, this one is definitely for you. There is also a romantic plot in the book. I thought it was a sweet subplot instead of a cloying overdone one and readers of all ages should enjoy its subtlety. In fact, if you’re looking something for yourself, your teenage daughter and your mother to read, this could be it. This is my second Purman book, my first being The Last of the Bonegilla Girls which I also enjoyed, so I will definitely be catching up with some of her other titles. 4 out of 5

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • The women's pages

    I loved the characters. And understood a lot of the emotions and situations they found themselves in. A true representation of ordinary Australians and the hardships and loss they experienced during World War 2.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Loved it

    This was a very interesting read. I learned a bit more of the war times in Australia and the sacrifices many Australians made. I would certainly recommend this book.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID