A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage by Loretta Smith

Reviewed by
January–February 2020, no. 418
Sharon Verghis reviews 'A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage' by Loretta Smith

A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage

by Loretta Smith

Hachette, $32.99 pb, 353 pp, 9780733642104

A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage by Loretta Smith

Reviewed by
January–February 2020, no. 418

On the evening of 6 August 1926, Alice Anderson donned her driving goggles and gloves, waved to the cheering crowds outside Melbourne’s Lyceum Club, and got into her tiny two-seater Austin 7. With her former teacher Jessie Webb beside her, the boot packed with two guns, sleeping bags, a compass, four gallons of water, a supply of biscuits, and, strangely, two potatoes with red curly wigs, she tooted the horn and set off. Her mission? A three-week pioneering trip to the never-never. ‘There is only one main route from Adelaide to Darwin, and that is only a camel track,’ the tiny young woman behind the wheel said breezily of the 2,607-kilometre journey ahead of her. ‘We are not going to stick to the beaten track.’

Sharon Verghis reviews 'A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage' by Loretta Smith

A Spanner in the Works: The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage

by Loretta Smith

Hachette, $32.99 pb, 353 pp, 9780733642104

You May Also Like

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.