Gillian Dooley reviews 'Settling Day' by Kate Howarth

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Settling Day' by Kate Howarth

Settling Day: A Memoir

by Kate Howarth

University of Queensland Press, $32.99 pb, 320 pp, 9780702250057

Kate Howarth is the child of a single mother, father uncertain, brought up by her Aboriginal grandmother. She in turn becomes pregnant at sixteen. Determined to keep her son despite the pressure to give him up for adoption, she marries the father. The marriage doesn't go well and Kate leaves without her son, hoping to come back for him when she is settled, but things don't go as planned and she doesn't see him again for fourteen years. She goes on to build a successful career in the personnel industry by dint of intelligence and persistence, marries the boss, and builds up their firm to one of the country's most successful recruitment companies. This marriage is another loveless one, though, and she eventually 'pulls the plug'. A third marriage to an American met via internet dating is a fiasco when he turns out to be a penniless transvestite.

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Published in December 2015, no. 377
Gillian Dooley

Gillian Dooley

Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Music Department at Southampton University. Her publications include an edited book of interviews with Iris Murdoch (2003), V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer (2006), J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative (2010), and journal articles on a range of literary topics including music in the life and work of Jane Austen. In 2005 she co-edited Matthew Flinders’ Private Journal and in 2014 she published an edition of the correspondence between Iris Murdoch and the Australian radical philosopher Brian Medlin. She has been a regular reviewer for ABR since 2002. She is founding editor of the online journals Transnational Literature and Writers in Conversation.

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