The Dressmaker’s Daughter
Fourth Estate, $32.99 pb, 427 pp
This memoir moves through points of intensity in Kate Llewellyn’s life, from an idyllic childhood at Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in the 1940s through to her leaving Adelaide to make a new life in Sydney in the 1980s. By this time she is a recognised poet, but her life is in turmoil. The book does not set out to tell a success story; rather, it describes that uneven movement from childhood innocence through adult experience, with all naïveté, self-delusion, idealism, and hard-learned lessons. It is quintessentially a poet’s book, its stories heightened by arresting images, its movement circling rather than linear.