Victoria Purman talks to Cheryl Akle about the fascinating real-life women of her latest bestselling novel, The Land Girls.
A moving story of love, loss and survival against the odds by bestselling author of The Last of the Bonegilla Girls, Victoria Purman.It was never just a man's war...Melbourne,1942War has engulfed Europe and now the Pacific, and Australia is fighting for its future. For spinster Flora Atkins, however, nothing much has changed. Tending her dull office job and beloved brother and father, as well as knitting socks for the troops, leaves her relatively content. Then one day a stranger gives her brother a white feather and Flora's anger propels her out of her safe life and into the vineyards of the idyllic Mildura countryside, a member of the Australian Women's Land Army.There she meets Betty, a 17-year-old former shopgirl keen to do her bit for the war effort and support her beloved, and the unlikely Lilian, a well-to-do Adelaide girl fleeing her overbearing family and the world's expectations for her. As the Land Girls embrace their new world of close-knit community and backbreaking work, they begin to find pride in their roles. More than that, they start to find a kind of liberation. For Flora, new friendships and the singular joy derived from working the land offer new meaning to her life, and even the possibility of love.But as the clouds of war darken the horizon, and their fears for loved ones - brothers, husbands, lovers - fighting at the front grow, the Land Girls' hold on their world and their new-found freedoms is fragile. Even if they make it through unscathed, they will not come through unchanged...