Joan Makes History: Reviews

 "A writer of quite extraordinary talent, slipping between the centuries with a fluid and vigorous prose style." (Literary Review)

"Like Woolf and Weldon, Kate Grenville is expert at bringing to light facets of female experience that usually remain ignored or denied, but she has a sexiness and a generosity all her own." (New Yorker)

"A good novelist, entirely in control of her matter." (Glasgow Herald)

"Powerful . . . Grenville is a writer of talent" (The Guardian)

"Kate Grenville's prose is robust, full of verve and energy." (The Irish Times)

"Her writing is as pithy as a proverb. A powerful storyteller." (New York Times Book Review)

"A first-rate teller of stories. Turn to any page and what you find is a sharp, edgy, nervous prose. A strong talent . . . Joan Makes History is a good and true book." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Ms Grenville's realism is often painful, yet hope flourishes through a comic tone that is comforting." (Baltimore Sun)

"Delightful stories of women's adventures and conquests." (Los Angeles Times)

"Consistently, inspiringly engaging to read, a purposeful jeu d'esprit of a novel. Kate Grenville has a feel for imagery, for the telling, casual details that capture the essence of a vanished time or a place. " (Washington Post Book World)

"Grenville at her most ambitious yet. She's a mercurial writer, capable of pulling off just about every tone she tries, from the lyric to the ribald . . . a virtuoso performance by a writer from the Antipodes who belongs at the center of the fiction map." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This fanciful feminist epic is funny and sometimes piercingly poignant." (Publishers Weekly)

"Australia is colonised - but from the female point of view. Joan, who is Everywoman, is observant, calm, tender, angry, despairing. An imaginatively crafted novel, effortlessly fluid. Kate Grenville understands the comic poetry of suffering." (Thea Astley)

"Joan Makes History is a clever idea beautifully executed" (Ken Inglis)

"A joy to read . . . Joan Makes History provokes thought while it entertains, and should become a classic." (Dale Spender, The Melbourne Herald)

"Joan Makes History is a funny, moving, brilliant, contrived story about the 'Everywoman' unsung by straight historians . . ." (The Age)

"The narrative voice ranges Australia's couple of centuries with a supreme and smiling dominion, writing Joan back into history . . ." (Brian Matthews, The Age)

"Very few recent novels have the audacity and range of Joan Makes History." (The Australian)

"This is a novel of amazing richness, of ideas, of attitude towards people and events, and of language. Don't miss reading this book - it's wonderful.," (The Dominion)

"Tremendous fun . . . the book has to offer the rich lush energy of its prose. Joan is irreverent, iconoclastic, a regarder of things from their undersides and deflator of the pompous." (The Canberra Times)

"Hugely entertaining. It is impossible to resist Grenville's warm and affectionate wit. We follow Joan's rich and complex story with a profound sense of engagement." (Courier Mail)

"This novel reclaims history as an act of the audacious imagination. Apparently mundane events are set alight by wit, humour and sympathetic insight." (The Weekend Australian)

"Joan Makes History is a wise, funny and often tender book, a fascinating and immensely readable tale, pierced with sly, wry humor in strongly feminist, but never proselytising, vein." (Sunday Times)

"Joan Makes History is a lively, witty, very wise look at the role of women in our society. Kate Grenville is a writer who knows about those things which belong to eternity" (Manning Clark)