Book review: Rebellious Daughters edited by Maria Katsonis & Lee Kofman

Friday, July 22, 2016 Permalink

There are two things I usually avoid like the plague. Well, three if you count vegetables. The others are short stores and non-fiction… so my interest in a compilation of ‘true stories from Australia’s finest female writers’ would usually be unfathomable.

However… I was heading into hospital and figured my post anaesthetic attention span might prefer shorter outings. And that’s most definitely been the case!

Book review: Rebellious Daughters edited by Maria Katsonis & Lee KofmanRebellious Daughters
by Maria Katsonis, Lee Kofman
Published by Ventura Press
on August 1st 2016
Source: Ventura Press
Buy on Amazon
Buy iBook
Genres: Non-fiction
ISBN: 1925183564
Pages: 232
three-stars
Goodreads

In Rebellious Daughters, some of Australia’s most talented female writers share intimate and touching stories of rebellion and independence as they defy the expectations of parents and society to find their place in the world.

Powerful, funny and poignant, these stories explore everything from getting caught in seedy nightclubs to lifelong family conflicts and marrying too young. Beautifully written, profoundly honest and always relatable, every story is a unique retelling that celebrates the rebellious daughter within us all.

Not every woman is a mother, grandmother, aunty or sister – but all women are daughters.

In their intro Lee and Maria provide a summary of what’s on offer and it’s as impressive as it is varied.

The compilation includes an eclectic array of honest, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories. But in common is that sense of family and relationships. Daughters’ relationships with their mothers, fathers, grandmothers and siblings are explored along with complexity of family dynamics as our writers have aged and grown themselves over the years. And there’s some reflections on life as a mother and a mother of daughters in particular.

I’m loath to single any individual writers out but some hit home more than others. My relationship with my parents – and now just my mother – has been one of my greatest blessings and I was reminded of this fact while reading the offerings from these impressive writers. I was also however reminded of my own experiences with my father’s dementia, and some of the other (ahem) growing pains experienced over my formative years – though like some of the writers, I was mostly a good girl – rebelling but rarely!

As a lover of logic, I must admit I prefer those stories which ran vaguely chronologically or in a story arc of sorts, as I struggle with what is akin to random thoughts and facts jostled together – so the collection was a little uneven in parts for me.

There really is – however – something for everyone here. And the wonderful contributors have bravely laid their souls bare, trusting we readers with their innermost thoughts and personal experiences. And for that I am grateful.

Rebellious Daughters edited by Maria Katsonis & Lee Kofman will be published in Australia by Ventura Press on 1 August 2016 and a percentage of sales from this book goes to Women’s Legal Service Victoria.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

Booktopia

Were you a rebellious daughter (or son) or did you rebel vicariously through those around you?

three-stars
18 Comments
  • Book Birdy
    July 22, 2016

    I really enjoyed this too. Found the Marion Halligan piece particularly moving… So wryly funny, but also quite devastating. The beauty of these collections, I think, is that there is always something for everyone. Cassie

  • Mandy Barbie Bieber Beyond
    July 22, 2016

    This sounds like one I should definitely put on my reading list!

  • Emily
    July 22, 2016

    Ooh, great to read your review! This arrived for me a few weeks ago and is next on my read list (currently reading Anna Spargo-Ryan’s The Paper House).

    • Debbish
      July 22, 2016

      Bizarrely I didn’t get The Paper House to review and at the moment I’m really only getting to read the books I’m sent for reviews… (Last Christmas I took a few weeks off and read some other books!)

  • Vanessa
    July 22, 2016

    Short story collections are hard sometimes, because you’ll relate to some and not others! I like the sound of this one though 🙂

    • Debbish
      July 22, 2016

      Yes Vanessa, I guess having the (daughter & family) theme / thread running through the short stories means there’s something that most can relate to.

  • litreasurechest
    July 22, 2016

    I’m glad you enjoyed this. There are times when I am strongly against short stories but then there are some who just grab me and I can’t help but read them.

    • Debbish
      July 22, 2016

      Yes… I struggle to engage in short stories Leona though have grown to appreciate novellas more now.

  • Melissa {Suger}
    July 22, 2016

    Well, I DO love a good rebellion! Thanks for sharing lovely. x

  • yinyangmother
    July 22, 2016

    This sounds like something I would like to read – I’m sure there’s some sense of solidarity to be gained in all the stories. We had a week in Fiji for my mum’s 70th and spending that time brings home the importance of the daugther/sister relationships.

    • Debbish
      July 22, 2016

      Ah yes… there are a few dysfunctional relationships on offer in the book Kathy so you’ll definitely feel better about your own! 🙂

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    July 23, 2016

    I was a goody goody – my mum had a severe mental illness and I thought by being “perfect” I could stop her outbreaks of ranting and abuse. It didn’t work!

    • Debbish
      July 23, 2016

      Oh, sorry to hear that Janet. And how naive we are when young… x

  • Grace
    July 25, 2016

    Oh, this sounds like right up my alley way as I actually like short story collections. All the better that they’re all Australian female writers.

    • Debbish
      July 25, 2016

      I know a lot of people who are time-strapped prefer short stories and novellas and this compilation is ideal in that respect.

I'd love to hear your thoughts