This book traces expectations gone awry with this difference: the optimism of youth is gone and there is a sense that Marie is trapped.  She’s very different to otthe resilient and accomplished older women.

It’s raw, it’s grungy and there’s some confronting language: Sydneysiders may not like the critique of their city.  It will interest some age groups more than others, but it’s a novel that offers book groups plenty to talk about!


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I read this story because of Jenni's review and loved it. I agree that it would be a great book for a book group to discuss and will be putting it on my list for my group next year. It tells the story of Marie 59, a divorced mother of three grown children who on a whim after a drunken night out in the city with her friend, decides to get a tattoo. This tattoo sets in motion a series of events in Marie's life, not the least of which is her realisation that there is a whole world to be had outside of the stuffy confines of her Mosman circle. The story is at once heart warming and heart breaking and Fiona McGregor has captured the essence of the vast differences between the two Sydneys that lie just across the bridge from each other very well

I too read this on Jenni's recommendation and also chose it as our Book Club read. Mixed reviews indeed from our group with little love for the writer's skill in story telling but more praise for her observations of characters living in a shallow material world caught up in hedonistic pursuits. The central character Marie broke free from these pursuits and sought a more down to earth existence although one could argue she already had her garden, her children and her cat but the tattoos gave her a new freedom as she drifted away from her old 'friends'. Selling her house and illness also shone a light on her relationship with her children and in turn their relationship with her ex- husband and her new friends.It is telling, contemporary, brash and compelling and that was just the book club discussion !




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