Better Reading Preview: The True Story of Maddie Bright

Better Reading Preview: The True Story of Maddie Bright

Our next Preview title is The True Story of Maddie Bright! To register your interest in being a Preview reviewer for this title, just fill out the form below. Please only enter once:

Sorry, the number of entries for this title has been reached. Please look out for our next Preview title, coming soon!

Better Reading Preview: an exclusive chance to read and review free books before anyone else

We invite our trusted community to engage directly with the nation-wide conversation about books by registering for Preview, our new crowd-sourced book review platform.

Due to the quality, helpfulness and perceptiveness of our readers, we are launching a platform that allows your voice to be heard.

So what is Preview and how do I sign up?

Like us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter (if you haven’t already) to hear about the next Preview offer. The first 50 people to register will be selected to receive a free pre-publication book known in the publishing industry as a ‘proof.’ Usually these are printed 3-4 months before they hit the bookshelves.

But be warned – there are only limited copies of each book available for review, so you need to register your interest immediately or you’ll miss out. First in, first served.

We want you to have fun with Preview – post photos of your book when you receive it on Instagram or Facebook, and share your thoughts using the hashtag #BRPreview. Be sure to tag Better Reading in your posts! We love to hear from our readers. If you have a Goodreads account, we encourage you to share you review here too.

When you register you are expressing interest for the following:

-A free copy of the book sent to your address in exchange for a review of the book.

-A successful registration to review a book is for that single title, only. With every new book announced, you need to register your expression of interest again. You can register for as many books as you like.

-When announced, registrations are open for one week only. Keep an eye on our FB page and weekly newsletter for these announcements.

-Selected reviews will be featured on the Better Reading website, and the publisher may use the reviews for promotion.

-All reviews must be no longer than 200 words and received before the deadline to be eligible. You have 4 weeks from receiving your book to write your review.

-Reviews will be selected for their overall helpfulness, factoring in relevance, eloquence, fairness, and respectfulness.

-In submitting your review, you agree to offer your words to the publisher and Better Reading to use for promotional and marketing purposes. You will be identified by your first name and Australian state.

-All Preview proofs are submitted by publishers to Better Reading and distributed to selected reviewers. Publishers have no direct contact with reviewers and no influence over who will review their books.

-Better Reading does not share your personal details with any third party. All details submitted will only be used by Better Reading and the publisher for the purposes of Preview.

– Social media posts about Better Reading Preview may be shared by Better Reading on our social media channels and website.

-Only Australian residents can register for Preview.

-Preview demand is incredibly high, and there are only limited spots available for each title. To keep things fair, if you fail to provide a review for your Preview title on two occasions, you will unfortunately not be selected for future Preview titles.


In 1920, at seventeen years of age, Maddie Bright takes a job as a serving girl on the Royal Tour of Australia by Edward, Prince of Wales. She meets the prince's young staff - his vivacious press secretary Helen Burns, his most loyal man Rupert Waters - and the prince himself - beautiful, boyish, godlike. Maddie might be on the adventure of a lifetime.

Sixty-one years later, Maddie Bright is living a small life in a ramshackle house in Paddington, Brisbane. But an unlooked-for letter has arrived in the mail and there's news on the television from Buckingham Palace that makes her shout back at the screen. Maddie Bright's true story may change.In August 1997, London journalist Victoria Byrd is tasked by her editor with the job of finding the elusive M.A. Bright, author of the classic war novel of ill-fated love, Autumn Leaves. It seems Bright has written a second novel, and Victoria has been handed the scoop. Recently engaged to an American film star, Victoria is horrified by her own sudden celebrity and keen to escape to Australia to follow the story.Written with real warmth and wit, these three evocative strands twist across the seas and over two continents, intersecting with the lives of Edward and Diana, two of the most loved and hated figures of the twentieth century. The True Story of Maddie Bright is a novel that tells stories and reveals truth; a novel that considers the inescapable ties of mothering, friendship, duty and love.
Mary-Rose MacColl
About the author

Mary-Rose MacColl

Mary-Rose MacColl is an Australian writer whose first novel, No Safe Place, was runner-up in the 1995 Australian Vogel literary award. Her first non-fiction book, The Birth Wars, was a finalist in the 2009 Walkley Awards. In Falling Snow (October 2012), Mary-Rose's fourth novel, tells the largely unknown story of a small group of Scottish women who ran a field hospital for France in World War I in an old abbey. MacColl holds degrees in journalism and creative writing and lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and son.

Books by Mary-Rose MacColl


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  1. Brooke says:

    Sounds like a fabulous book – would love to read!

  2. Deborah says:

    Look like a book I would enjoy reading


    Would love to read thank you

  4. Claire says:

    I would love to read and review this book!

  5. Cynthia Price says:

    Would love to preview this book and place in on my library’s review blog

  6. Christine Cooper says:

    Hope my request went through. This looks like a good book

  7. Kylie Dean says:

    Would love to review a copy 😊

  8. Alison says:

    Sounds like just my sort of novel.

  9. Samantha says:

    Sign me up please…I would like very much to read and review this book.

  10. Anna Caruana says:

    I would love to review this book for it’s subject matter and the period it will be set in. I love anything to do with the Royal families of the world (especially Britain), even if it’s fictional!

  11. Leigh Brown says:

    Certainly sounds like a book I would love to read and will also recommend to my book club when we meet up again in the new year.

  12. Anita says:

    sounds fascinating, and set in my Brisbane suburb

  13. Nora says:

    Would love to read this.

  14. Kylie Kennett says:

    Yes please

  15. Amanda says:

    Yes would love to read this over the holidays 👍

  16. Jenny McCarthy says:

    I’ve read all Mary Rose’s books and look forward to reading this one, too. Great to see a Brisbane author doing well. We need to support our local authors.

  17. Elaine Kelly (elly) says:

    Sounds like something I would love to read,
    I’ve just finished….
    The lost flowers of Anna Hart …a beautiful read……set in Australia !

  18. Rebecca says:

    Any spots left for a great read??

  19. Amy Parkes says:

    That sounds amazing! I work in a book store and review proofs as part of my job so would love a chance to do it here.

  20. Sheryl hawkins says:

    sounds like a good book

  21. Nicole Roslon says:

    Love learning about women in history through novels!

  22. Karen Neville says:

    Would love to review this. It sounds intriguing.

  23. Tammy says:

    Would love to preview this book.

  24. Hayley says:

    This sounds fab! I’d love to review a copy 😊

  25. Trina Nordio says:

    Yes please