About the author:
Victoria Purman is a multi-published, award-nominated, Amazon Kindle-bestselling author. She has worked in and around the Adelaide media for nearly thirty years as an ABC television and radio journalist, a speechwriter to a premier, political adviser, editor, media adviser and private-sector communications consultant. She is a regular guest at writers’ festivals, has been nominated for a number of readers choice awards and was a judge in the fiction category for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Her most recent novels are The Three Miss Allens, published in 2016, The Last of the Bonegilla Girls (2018) and The Land Girls (2019).
Keen to read more books about women in history?
WIN prizes valued at over $1000 with Herstory: Books that write Her back into History at harpercollins.com.au/herstory.
Words // Victoria Purman
I am a mother to three adult sons and no, I don’t know how that happened, either.
One minute they were all little boys, building Lego and holding my hand in public and then seemingly overnight they are all over six-foot-tall and driving cars.
Where do those years go? In my mind, I trace the passage of their childhoods through the books they loved.
My childhood favourites were theirs, too: Harry The Dirty Dog, Madeline, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are and every book Dr Seuss ever wrote, although I Wish That I Had Duck Feet was a firm favourite for years. We wore out Cowboy Pup (a fun book bought cheaply from a supermarket which featured a furry dog’s head stuck in the middle of it.) Here’s a taste: “Cowboy Pup’s an expert with a rope/He gets a lot of practice/He twirls his lasso in the air and loops it round a cactus”. (Why do I still know that but I can never find my phone?)
I knew Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French by heart for a few years there, as well as The Terrible Underpants by Kaz Cooke.
Then came Harry Potter, of course, which my husband read to each of the boys in turn, followed by The Hobbit. And when they were a little older, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
When they began to borrow books themselves from the school library, it was Anthony Horowitz and Lemony Snicket and Derek Landy’s Skullduggery Pleasant series, and then it was the dreaded phase of The Books I Have to Read for School.
But the thing with kids is that they grow up. And that means they suddenly don’t want shelves full of ‘embarrassing and childish’ books cluttering up their rooms.
And now? I have one reader, and two who have turned away from books. I’m hoping it’s not forever.
And those books we loved? They’re on a shelf, out of sight, waiting for the day when my sons might pull them out to read to their own children.
That would make this mother very happy indeed.