The secrets of Leonard and Elizabeth Jolley

Reviewed by
May 2012, no. 341

The secrets of Leonard and Elizabeth Jolley

Reviewed by
May 2012, no. 341

Francesca Rendle-Short

 

The House of Fiction: Leonard, Susan and Elizabeth Jolley
by Susan Swingler
Fremantle Press, $24.95 pb, 322 pp, 9781921888663

 

‘Everything should not be told, it is better to keep some things to yourself.’ So begins Susan Swingler’s The House of Fiction with this quote from much-loved Australian novelist Elizabeth Jolley as an epigraph. And what a loaded beginning it is, too, given the subject matter of this memoir: the discovery by Swingler of the fraudulent and secret double life her father Leonard Jolley led with Elizabeth (or Monica Knight, as she was called), his second wife. In this family drama, which began in England, there are two women who were once friends and who look uncannily alike, two daughters whose names begin with S who were born to these women at almost exactly the same time, and, centre-stage, one taciturn father, Leonard Jolley.

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.