She’s a showgirl and a story teller with a trunk full of stories and secrets. A funny, tender novel about an extraordinary woman who made the very best of everything life threw at her.
‘It’s not every day a handsome young man appears on your doorstep to ask if you’re a respectable woman…’
Miss Ada Delroy and her famous vaudeville troupe stormed five continents, enchanting royalty, miners and larrikins alike with her wit, illusions, and breathtaking dances.
‘I had a diamond pendant near as big as an emu egg off the Maharajah of What’s-His-Name. They named a racehorse after me, and a pigeon and a potato soup on an Orient steamship.’
Under the costume made from 100 yards of billowing silk was a woman who couldn’t help being both fabulous and disreputable. Down on her luck in a rented room in Melbourne, morphia cocktail in hand, Ada receives a visitor. Is she ready to share her secrets?
Inspired by photos of real 1890s vaudevillians, Kaz Cooke brings to life a forgotten world of cunning clairvoyants and trained cockatoos; of fierce loyalties and mixed lollies; the glamour of the stage and the muck of the road. Funny, inventive and lovingly researched, Ada is the story of an extraordinary woman in the toughest of times, with the courage to make herself the star.
‘I’ll tell you what I loved about being a theatrical. You’re a custodian of magic, a purveyor of glamour, a repository of mystery. You’re someone.’
About the author
Kaz Cooke is an Australian author, cartoonist and radio broadcaster.
Her background is in news and feature journalism in Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin. Her career began a month after she left school, in 1981, at The Age newspaper and since then she’s written for heaps of other major daily newspapers (The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and the Canberra Times) and magazines (including Who Weekly and the Women’s Weekly).
Since becoming a Mum in 1998 she has mainly worked from home writing books in her pyjamas; and still doesn’t know why there were books in her pyjamas (boom, boom). There have been some scuttling forays into radio shows with varying degrees of success (from “this is fun!” to “I’d rather eat my own shins with a fork”). Kaz illustrates her own work with cartoons, since 1983 often featuring Hermoine the Modern Girl.