Shielded from emotional and physical abuse by layers of fat, Lilian struggles to escape a suffocating existence in the home of her tyrannical Victorian father and her elegant but ineffectual mother. Madness, cruelty and sexuality permeate the family's upper-crust Australian world.
Lilian Una Singer starts life at the beginning of the twentieth century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family. She ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets, quoting Shakespeare. This book traces the progress of her life's journey, and why she made the choices she did. She's a person large in spirit as well as body, who wants to invent her own story, rather than allow it to be invented for her. Life presents her with many obstacles including the sinister advances of her father - but in spite of this she succeeds. Triumphantly she makes her life her own, savouring every moment with the reminder that 'everything matters'.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-loved authors. Her works of fiction have won awards both in Australia and internationally. THE IDEA OF PERFECTION won the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. In 2006 THE SECRET RIVER won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney.