Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley: Your Preview Verdict

Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley: Your Preview Verdict

In one day, Maggie is dumped by her boyfriend, disinherited by her mum, and kicked out of the three-year degree she’d stretched to a decade. And that was before she received the letter saying she owed the government $70,000.

But that’s no reason to grow up, is it?

Our Preview readers enjoyed the charm and humour in Maggie’s Going Nowhere, as well as the distinctly Australian voice Rose Hartley brought to the story.

Read some highlights here:

Love Love Loved this book, Maggie is such a fun character whose life is a total mess and her mum she is a hoot, loved the quote “ she looked like a raw chipolato in a white tourniquet” Rose Hartley I congratulate you on a fun easy to read book – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

I absolutely loved this novel. The character of Maggie reminded me so much of my brother and how he roles through life, except that I laughed all the way through. The ending was predictable especially with regards to Bunny, but otherwise, a thoroughly entertaining read – Kristie, WA, 5 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is such a quirky and funny novel about Maggie whose life literally is going nowhere after one night when she cheats on her boyfriend. This is very much the Australian version of ‘fleabag’. Loved the story and the characters who are so diverse and not stereotypical. Would recommend this to any book lover as a great summer read. Light, witty and lots of fun – Katarzyna, VIC, 5 stars

Adelaide girl! I love nothing more than an underdog with tenacity and snappy storytelling with dry humour. I found the narration seamless and witty. Thoroughly enjoyed the book, cringing, laughing, and rooting for the characters, even with their flaws. I read this every opportunity over a couple of days because I wanted to know *just* how bad it could get for Maggie! The secondary characters were excellent as working parts of slick writing, with clever dialogue throughout. Especially loved her Mum! Great read 🙂 – Kel, SA, 5 stars

Wow what a fantastic debut! I loved this funny, quirky book and literally could not put it down. Reminded me of Bridget Jones diary but set in Australia, funnier and a wee bit naughtier! A heartwarming and laugh out loud novel i would recommend to anyone – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

I’m not usually one to like a character who typifies the very definition of a no-hoper, much less one who is an over-entitled bludger with zero tact and no ambition whatsoever to improve their lot in life, preferring instead to blame others for her problems whilst holding out a hand for a spare fifty. Nevertheless, every now and again, I am utterly surprised and delighted by a book and enjoy every single sentence of it, as was the case with Maggie’s Going Nowhere. In essence, this novel is about Maggie’s coming of age – very late coming of age – but it also touches on some Australian contemporary themes of importance: homelessness, the struggle to find work if you have no skills or a prison record, and the utter ridiculousness of dealing with Centrelink – Maggie’s experiences sure brought back some memories from my own student days of dealing with that organisation. Maggie’s Going Nowhere is addictive and entertaining, I read it in a day, laughing and shaking my head all the way through. Who would have thought that this would end up a five star read for me? Highly recommended and I sincerely hope this one gets adapted for film or TV. – Theresa, QLD, 5 stars

The new Liane Moriarty! I actually checked the cover to see if this was Liane Moriarty! Maggie might not be going nowhere but Rose Hartley is going to the best sellers list! You will fall in love with Maggie and Rueben right from the start. Characters full of depth, warmth but you’ll want to slap Maggie at the same time. Unputdownable, you can’t wait to see what Maggie does next, you will laugh out loud, this book is modern and relatable. This will make a fantastic mini series or movie. I usually give my books away but this is a keeper and I’ll re-read it. Love, love, love it. Looking forward to the sequel! – Penny, NSW, 5 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley is a quirky yet compulsive read. Main protagonist Maggie is a walking disaster; unfiltered, unmotivated and leaves a trail of destruction wherever she goes. She is the queen of dysfunctional relationships yet her honesty and sassy attitude remains endearing. The novel is a somewhat coming-of-age narrative as Maggie navigates an unfortunate series of setbacks that force her onto a road of personal transformation. With plenty of laugh out loud moments, this lighthearted read is a must! Thank you Rose Hartley for developing an intriguing narrative to frame such a gorgeous character; it will be a long time before I forget Maggie! Huge appreciation to Better Reading for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy. – Sarah, VIC, 5 stars

In Maggie’s Going Nowhere Hartley has taken a character that would normally be unlikeable and given her endearing qualities. Maggie doesn’t like to conform to societal standards. She has been living off her mother, her boyfriend and Centrelink for the past ten years whilst she idles her way through a three year Uni course. When she gets kicked out by her boyfriend and kicked off her Uni course she is disinherited by her mother until she can prove that she is capable of supporting herself. Maggie is a brazen no hoper but it is hard not to love her. She knows how to laugh at herself and doesn’t take life too seriously. She is assertive and always speaks her mind assuming her friends would prefer the truth no matter how objectionable. She says she doesn’t care what people think of her but deep down we can see that she does. I thoroughly enjoyed Maggies Going Nowhere. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Maggie fumbles her way through this belated coming-of-age story. – Veronica, NSW, 5 stars

Maggie Cotton is kind of pathetic. She’s taken 10 years to not-complete her uni degree. She’s been dumped for cheating on (another) boyfriend. Her mum has almost given up on her and written her out of the will in a last-ditch attempt to get Maggie to take some responsibility for her life. She’s attempting to live rent-free in a sweatbox of an old caravan, with no electricity or running water. And yet, despite all of this, there’s something to really love about her. Maggie is genuine, she’s facing struggles many of us can relate to (albeit on a less dramatic scale!) and she loves her volunteer work with a local charity. This is a light-hearted story that’s just this side of ridiculous, but keeps the reader guessing with oodles of unresolved sexual tension (will she end up with Dan? Will she finally seduce Rueben?) and offers plenty of laughs along the way. If you’re looking for something deep and meaningful, you probably won’t find it here, but this was a perfect “in-between” book between some heavier titles, or a fun read for your summer beach getaway. – Laura, NSW, 5 stars

Attention Reese Witherspoon or Zoe Foster Blake, this needs to be made into a movie ASAP!!! Maggie is the friend we all have, that we just want to shake and tell her to wake up to herself but then she has our back and all is forgiven, Maggie is an infuraiting yet lovable character who has to hit rock bottom before she comes up, but tends to wallow in the muck first. A great read that will have you laughing out loud one minute, pulling your hair out the next and then your heart breaking. A terrific read – Mel, NSW, 5 stars

I loved the book Maggie’s Going Nowhere. The characters were fun and the writing by the author made you feel as if you were part of their friendship circle. It was funny and made me laugh at the main characters antics. You could sympathise with her as what she went through was something that could happen to anyone. I loved that the writing was based in Australia as it made it even more relatable. If you want a book that makes you smile and have fun while reading then this is one for you. – Lynne, NSW, 5 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is a debut novel and I am so excited to read the author’s future work. I loved this book. Maggie has been ousted from university, has the kind of debt that makes your eyes water, and is unemployed and homeless. Even her own mother won’t take her in, opting to cut her out of her will until Maggie can prove she can stand on her own two feet. Maggie is sent off by her Mum with an interview with a recruitment agency (which she bails on) and $1200 in cash (which she blows on a caravan with no running water or electricity). Although this sounds bleak, the book is hilarious. The opening scene, depicting a wedding dress murder, is one of the funniest I have read and so many of the sentences and scenarios throughout the book made me laugh out loud. I loved the characters in the book. Maggie is obnoxious, self-absorbed, and her troubles are entirely self-inflected. Normally I would find this kind of character annoying but the book is written with such humour and self-deprecation, I actually really liked Maggie and wanted her to succeed in her unconventional pursuit of life. – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

An Enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down. You just had to know what was Maggie going to do next. Reading page by page you couldn’t help but laugh at Maggie. Maggie’s Going Nowhere was a light easy read that definitely relaxed me after a hard day at work. I was looking forward to getting home and getting comfy on the couch to read the next chapter. You got hooked into the story from the start at her best friend Jen’s engagement. Here we meet characters that we met again throughout the book. My favourite two were Rueben the band guy and Dan the guy in the alley. I like both guys in their special sort of way. I loved Maggie’s character even if I thought at times of how lazy she was being a long term student living off student benefits, a supportive mum and boyfriend ….. (I don’t know anyone like that….. cough, cough). At first I thought Maggie was spoilt and rude. Basically, an all about me person, but as soon as her mum stopped supporting her and Maggie had to fend for herself, the fun began in the book. Maggie moves into a simple caravan and starts a volunteer job at an op shop/woman’s shelter. We read about her day to day life and the ups and downs of living in a caravan. If you want a light funny easy read that you can sit by the pool or beach Maggie’s Going Nowhere is the ideal book. Oh yeah…. It’s a double bonus that the author is from Adelaide. – Maria, SA, 5 stars


Read all Preview reviews here

Buy a copy of the book here

Read our review here




A Funny, Fierce Debut: Have a Sneak Peek at Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

Review | Extract

14 January 2020

A Funny, Fierce Debut: Have a Sneak Peek at Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

    Preview Reviews: Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

    Review | Preview

    8 January 2020

    Preview Reviews: Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

      Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley is Going Straight to the Top of Your TBR. Read a Review here.

      Review | Our Review

      6 January 2020

      Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley is Going Straight to the Top of Your TBR. Read a Review here.

        Related Articles

        Summing up Summer: The Better Reading Team Chooses their Seasonal Highlights

        News | Book Life

        27 February 2020

        Summing up Summer: The Better Reading Team Chooses their Seasonal Highlights

          Get the Conversation Started with Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

          News | Author Related

          7 January 2020

          Get the Conversation Started with Maggie's Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

            Publisher details

            Maggie's Going Nowhere
            Rose Hartley
            07 January, 2020


            Maggie’s Going Nowhere is a fierce and funny debut introducing a thoroughly relatable and offbeat heroine. If you enjoy Fleabag, you'll adore Maggie!'A compulsive and hilarious read. In Maggie, Hartley has created one of those indelible characters of whom we must thoroughly disapprove and yet cannot help but love.' Karen Joy FowlerMaggie Cotton’s life is a hot mess.In one day, she’s dumped by her boyfriend, disinherited by her mum, and kicked off the three-year degree course she’d stretched to a decade. And that was before she received the letter saying she owed the government $70,000.But that’s no reason to grow up, is it?With a decrepit 1960s caravan to call home, Maggie has to prove to her mother she can survive without a safety net, stop her loyal best friend Jen from marrying a scumbag, and convince her sexy workmate Rueben that she’s not a walking disaster. For someone who’s spent her life avoiding hard work, she sure can move mountains when she’s got a little motivation – just don’t ask her to move the caravan.
            Rose Hartley
            About the author

            Rose Hartley

            Rose Hartley is a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Adelaide with her cat, Doris, and her 1962 caravan, Cecil. Maggie's Going Nowhere is her first novel.

            Books by Rose Hartley


            Leave a Reply

            Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *