Preview Reviews: Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

Preview Reviews: Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley is a fierce and funny debut introducing a thoroughly relatable and offbeat heroine. If you enjoy Fleabag, you’ll adore Maggie! Read on to find out what our Preview readers thought:

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is an entertaining read about a woman struggling to stay on track. It’s funny and I felt a kindred spirit in Maggie – which I think made me love and hate her decisions so much more than had there been fewer similarities between us. Maggie is likeable even when her life choices have been questionable and she’s someone I found myself rooting for throughout. It’s a lovely book – perfect for a lazy summer day of reading. – Kate, QLD, 4 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

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

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is an entertaining read with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. You will find Maggie exasperating at times and then loving her the next. There’s a great mix of colourful supporting characters that make this debut novel so enjoyable and you will fly through this read. Maggie’s Going Nowhere is fun & addictive and a perfect holiday read! – Maridel, NSW, 4 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

3.5*s Maggie is unemployed, nearly 30 and just been kicked off her degree course, dumped by her boyfriend and disinherited from her mums will. This is a funny, easy and lighthearted read. Its a perfect read by the pool on holiday and for lovers of chick lit as it’s a different spin on girl meets boy and falls in love. The only reason I didn’t give it more stars is that I struggled to sympathise with Maggie most of the things that happen to her are kind of well deserved based on her behaviour but it does make you laugh. Maggie has no filter and does as she pleases, I’m not sure I would be as patient with her as her best friend Jen **redacted due to potential spoilers** I also liked that the book was set in Melbourne – good to read for a local. Thank you to Better Reading for the preview copy #BRPreview – Emma, VIC, 3 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley – A hilarious book for the beach Maggie is a true antiheroine: she’s contrary, lazy, rude and – at 29 – refuses to grow up and take responsibility for anything. This makes her life a pretty easy ride until the people that she’s been using unscrupulously to sustain her lifestyle are finally fed up and literally kick her out. She has to learn to fend for herself and deal with the consequences of a decade of partying and carelessness. If she didn’t care in the past, she’s forced to from now on. This is a hilarious book. It’s filled with sudden #lol moments which can be quite awkward if you’re reading it on the train (I’m talking from experience here). Maggie really doesn’t give a sh*t about anything and, whilst that annoyed me at the start of the book, I did appreciate her sardonic sense of humour. Hartley’s writing style ensures that this book reads fluently and you’ll find that you won’t be able to stop reading. – Gwen, VIC, 4 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

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

A fun book to read, easy going and light, brought a smile to my face, a good book to read after a hard day. – Lynette, NSW, 3 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

What a perfect, light-hearted read! I simply devoured it. – Emma, VIC, 4 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

A fun debut novel from Rose Hartley. If you want to have a laugh and enjoy a ‘chick lit’ book then ‘Maggie’s Going Nowhere’ is the book for you! I would recommend this book as a relaxing holiday read. – Amanda, QLD, 3 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

This book had me chuckling, cringing and ultimately rooting for Maggie to succeed. A light, easy read perfect for “chick lit” fans. Loved Maggie’s sense of humour, despite all her faults I was rooting for her from the outset. – Simone, NSW, 4 stars

It’s difficult to really enjoy a book when the main character is so unlikeable. Luckily she redeems herself in the end which in turn redeems the book. Toning down the crass language might also help reach more readers. – Janelle, NSW, 2 stars

I loved reading Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley. Hartley’s characters are well written and easy to develop feelings for. This is particularly true for the protagonist, Maggie. I enjoyed her blunt humour that had me laughing by page 2. She is a bit of a train wreck who often does nothing to help herself and you find yourself wanting to yell at her “what are you doing?! Just stop it!”. Then at the same time she is loveable and you can’t help rooting for her to have a happy ending. A thoroughly enjoyable read that can be devoured in a weekend. – Stevie, NSW, 4 stars

A hilarious, laugh out loud and engaging story that touches on the struggles of someone trying to find work when they have no skills, are almost homeless and the frustrations of dealing with Centrelink. Maggie is a little rough around the edges, she’s a freeloader and has the morals of an alley cat. Most of Maggie’s energy is spent avoiding hard work, her life is an utter and shameful mess and she’s a no-hoper. She’s been doing the same three year commerce degree for a decade and is no closer to graduating. Her boyfriend Sean has just dumped her and she finds herself homeless and broke. Not long after she receives a letter from Centrelink claiming she owes them $70,000. With the last of her mothers hand outs and threats of being wrote out of her mother’s will Maggie purchases a decrepit second hand caravan, a 1962 aluminium hand-built ten footer called the Periwinkle which she intends to live in. Maggie finds herself in a job, volunteering in a charity shop so she can still be paid by Centrelink. Here she spends her time trying to seduce one of her workmates, sexy ex-con and guitarist Reuben. Her best friend Jen is about to marry the ‘King of Arseholes’ can Maggie stop her before it’s too late or will she destroy her friendship? You can’t help but warm to Maggie’s likeable character, with all her personality flaws, underneath there is a good and caring person. Can Maggie turn her life around and stop depending on everyone around her? You’ll have to read this entertaining and hilarious book with a cast of fascinating characters to find out, it’s well worth a read! A wonderful debut novel from South Australian author Rose Hartley. Thank you to Better Reading & Penguin Random House Australia for an advanced copy of the book in return for an honest review. – Gloria, SA, 4 stars

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this book. The main character was completely unlikeable and you didn’t want things to work out for her. I’m not quite sure what the point of the character Dan was, there was no real need for him. If I hadn’t needed to do a review of this book I wouldn’t have finished it. – Cassandra, NSW, 2 stars

Maggie ! A loveable trainwreck. This book centres around a hard not to like character called Maggie who bounces from disaster to disaster. Forward thinking is not something Maggie has probably ever entertained practising. It seems there is always someone to rescue her….. until there is no one left to pick up her pieces. One would presume that would kick start Maggie to begin acting like a responsible adult but that doesnt come easy to Maggie and what follows is mis-adventure after mis-adventure. This book was entertaining from start to finish. I was able to relate to Maggie and her carefree attitude to life and her constant diasters had me chuckling throughout. I would thoroughly reccomend this book as a warm and light hearted read while all the way cheering Maggie on to get her life together. Does that ever happen ? Read it and find out !  – Jude, SA, 4 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere but she is determined to take us with her. Rose Hartley has written a debut novel that is full of relatable and unlikeable characters. Maggie Cotton is your classic no hoper that has been living off the public purse and the goodness of her friends for years. Her despairing mother is at her wits end with Maggie’s lifestyle and decides some tough love is in order. The book is an easy, light read but I did have trouble getting into it as I did not like Maggie and her lazy cluelessness, but some of the other characters such as her friend Jen are lovely. As she starts to get her life together the story becomes more interesting and she becomes easier to like. Maggie’s Going Nowhere did not inspire me but it was ok and many incidents in the story are quite funny. – Janelle, NSW, 3 stars

Thanks to Better Reading for an advanced copy of Maggie’s Going Nowhere to review. As someone who usually goes for crime/thrillers I enjoyed this book very much and ended up reading it in about 2 days as I couldn’t put it down. Maggie’s life has gone from bad to worse. She has been dumped by her boyfriend, kicked out of her university degree, disinherited by her mother and has now discovered she owes a huge Centrelink debt! Although it appears she has hit rock bottom she approaches many of these things with humour, and as the novel continues I admired the way she managed to mature. I was really hoping she would climb out of the hole she’d found herself in. Maggie’s character will have you cringing one minute but loving her the next. Although in the beginning she comes across as selfish we see that underneath she does have a good heart and is loyal to the people she truly cares about. This book was a relaxing read with many heart-warming moments but also had me laughing out loud throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and look forward to reading this author’s next novel. – Kim, VIC, 4 stars

A pleasant enough read but hardly original. A very predictable plot which reminds me of ‘Elinor Oliphant is just fine’ and ‘The time is now Monica Sparrow’ This novel was a very quick and easy read not too taxing on one’s mind. Perfect for a day at the beach. – Dianne, SA, 3 stars

I found Maggie difficult to relate to at the start of the book, however the changes she was able to make in her life made her much more enjoyable to read about later in the book. Maggie’s Going Nowhere was written in an easy-to-read style, and although appearing light and breezy, actually covered some serious issues in society today. It’s always fun reading a book set somewhere you know, and Rose Hartley made me think wistfully of younger days spent in Melbourne. – Brianna, SA, 4 stars

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is unapologetically a Melbourne centric novel, with unique cultural references sprinkled throughout. Our lead character Maggie is at times selfish, lazy, promiscuous, clueless, manipulative, loyal, caring, loving, clever and kind – in short, she is a complex and thoroughly modern young woman. I’m not sure that I personally found her relatable, rather there were times I wanted to give her a good smack and tell her to wake up to herself! Perhaps it’s a generational thing? Whatever the case may be, Hartley has given us a book full of rich characters, whose interaction with Maggie as she struggles to navigate her life, provide us with an entertaining plot. It’s definitely an easy book to read, one you can put down and pick up with ease. – Linda, VIC, 3 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

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

Oh Maggie, she stands for everything hard working and independent woman are against. We’ve all wanted to pack in responsibility and coast through life however Maggie has made that her life’s work. She’s a freeloader, self-absorbed, entitled and selfish yet somehow Rose Hartley has made Maggie and her eclectic crew of enablers endearing and relatable. I couldn’t help but laugh as I willed Maggie along in her attempts to make good the shemozzle that is her hot mess life. A quirky tale, told at a quick pace. I look forward to seeing what Rose Hartley comes up with for her second novel. – AJ, VIC, 4 stars

Maggie lives a charmed life, giving the bare minimum of effort with an abundance of sass. When her extended adolescence screams to a halt she is faced with coping with life without a safety net, not to mention how to get Rueben to take her.. seriously.. While Maggie isn’t particularly sympathetic, the writing is snappy and flows well. I enjoyed it! – Juanita, NSW, 4 stars

Maggie Cotton has 6 months to prove to her mother than she is capable of independence or she’s disinherited. At 29 she’s been an undergraduate for 10 years, having pursued ‘sextracurricula’ activities rather than further education. Kicked out by her handsome boyfriend and with the last money from her mother, Maggie buys a caravan. Somewhere to live while she gets her messy life together. But it all falls apart when uni boots her out, Centrelink calls in a debt, and her BFF must choose between Maggie and her FIFO fiance. Maggie is literally going nowhere and despite calls by the police to move on, she’s stubbornly staying put. A loyal friend, but lacking a filter, Maggie is difficult to really like. But she is audacious and pokes fun at hipsters, unchristian Christians, divorce lawyers, Centrelink dealings and tandoori tans, charming the reader with her cheek. She achieves wonders for a charity and has a good heart. We hope she gets revenge on her lifelong nemesis Sarah Stoll, and finally gets a date with Reuben the sexy ex-con. Uncomplicated and fun, Rose Hartley’s novel is as satisfying as a food fight! – Anita, QLD, 3 stars

If you enjoy chick lit books like the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, or While You Were Reading by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus, you will enjoy this book. I finished it in a couple of days and giggled throughout. It was the perfect holiday read to take with me to Vanuatu. That being said, I really didn’t identify with or like Maggie and probably wouldn’t have finished it if not for having to write a review. Thanks to Better Reading and Penguin Random House for this advanced copy of Maggie Going Nowhere. – Natalie, NSW, 3 stars

Maggie’s life is a train wreck, she has no job, has been dumped by her boyfriend, and been disinherited by her mother for being a no-hoper. So with the last of her mother’s money she buys an old caravan so she doesn’t have to live on the street, and gets a volunteer job in a charity shop through Centrelink. The job has perks in the form of Reuben, hot ex-crim guitarist and IT expert, and Maggie spends most of her time trying to seduce him instead of trying to get her life back on track… While this book doesn’t have a lot of substance it’s light and easy to read, and I found myself chuckling, and cringing, at Maggie’s antics all the way through. As she plummets further and further, you can’t help but admire her optimism, and uselessness, while she rides roughshod over everyone around her. Will she get back into her mother’s will? Will she pay off her debts? Will she get the guy? I’m not going to tell you, you’ll have to read this book yourself to find out. Recommended for all lovers of chick lit and women’s fiction. – Kylie, QLD, 4 stars

I mightily disliked Maggie, so found this readable, and entertaining to a certain degree, but never fully engaging. I thought Maggie deserved everything she got. She’s selfish, bone idle, entitled, a lousy daughter, a lousy friend, and not particularly honest. She cheats on every boyfriend. Maggie seems oblivious to the impact her actions have on others. I wouldn’t want her in my life. And that’s a problem. Maggie “earned” being homeless, broke and alone, and she wants to change that without changing herself or her behaviour. It’s hard to invest in her fixing her life when she wants to do it by lying and cadging off others. The characterisations are generally vivid, and several engage sympathy and interest. This is probably the strongest part of the novel, and the main reason I enjoyed it despite my dislike of Maggie. Hartley’s writing style is bright and breezy, with occasional flashes of both humour and pathos. The plot is well paced – it never flags, but never races either. Overall, this is a well written novel with an unlikable heroine. It’s hard to care much what happens to her, but I found the novel reasonably enjoyable because of the other characters. – Lorraine, ACT, 3 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

Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley is quite an enjoyable book. I’m sure most of us can relate to the feeling of not knowing what direction life is taking and the doubts that come along with that. I had a few little laughs at some of Maggie’s escapades while also feeling her loneliness. This book will appeal to those who want something light to read, to give them a little escape from the hustle and bustle of their own lives. – Alice, NSW, 2 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

I absolutely loved this novel. The character of Maggie reminded me so much of my brother and how he rolls 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

A classic story about a young lady who has not grown up yet, who’s life is out of control. Cute characters keeps this story moving along, and the reader interested until the end. A light and fun read. – Heidi, NSW, 3 stars

Unfortunately this was a DNF for me. I did not find Maggie a likeable or relate-able character whatsoever and therefore I had no interest in her story. Sorry. I am wondering if this was at all autobiographical? I am hoping Maggie become a better person but I did not have enough interest to find out. – Emily, VIC, 1 star

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

Buy a copy of Maggie’s Going Nowhere here

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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

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

    Review | Preview

    8 January 2020

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

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

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      6 January 2020

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

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            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


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