The Angel of Waterloo
422pp., pbk., RRP $A29.99
Henrietta Bartlett, known to everyone as Hen, is working alongside her surgeon father amongst the hellfire and brimstone that is the battlefield of Waterloo. Circumstances lead to an unexpected and untimely marriage to one of her patients, an event that not only changes her life forever but leads to changing many lives of generations not yet even born. For on that battlefield a dream of living where it is acceptable to be a female working in medicine is born, and from there to the newly-established colony of New South Wales where anything seems possible, we have the prequel to the fabulous, meticulously-researched, partly-autobiographical Matilda saga
And this is my Christmas gift to you- hours and hours of put-your-feet-up reading into the world of Australia’s past through the stories of the generations of a family of strong women to acknowledge all the work you, as teachers, have done to keep our kids moving forward during such a difficult year. Hen herself kept me engrossed with no room for mundane stuff like feeding the family and cleaning the house (the joys of retirement) and re-reading the series itself took care of many confined-to-home Covid hours. It truly is Jackie French at her best.
Merry Christmas and happy reading!!!