In days of yore at The School Magazine we used to comment to each other that Noelene Martin had a nose for the parts of someone’s life that would grab young readers’ interest. Her first book, Freda, a biography of Freda Whitlam, shows that her nose stays good when she’s writing for adults. In today’s Spectrum, it’s Bruce Elder’s Pick of the Week, and his review gives a good sense of the book:
This is not a conventional biography. It is, essentially, a life crafted out of a series of interviews and conversations with the subject. It reads like a quirky, chatty, anecdotal account of a life full of interest and incident. Some events, important in an individual life, but unimportant in an overview of a career, keep interjecting themselves into the narrative to such a point that Ms Whitlam’s childhood comes across like young Gerald Durrell in My Family and Other Animals.
But of course my regular readers read about it here first. Oh, and in case you’d like a copy (and you know you would) but are shy about calling the phone number given in the Spectrum, you can email mrsmarty AT aapt DOT net DOT au.