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Tirra Lirra by the River Paperback – January 3, 1984

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A woman of spirit and independence, Nora Porteous is still somewhat apprehensive about what the coming years hold. Now in her seventies, she has returned to the house she grew up in and the town she escaped from forty-five years ago when she got married and moved to Sydney. Initially her marriage felt like love - she wanted her feelings to be love - but after ten years there was no denying that it wasn't. At thirty-five, for the first time in her life, she realizes she has options: they don't have to be escapes or decisions made to please others. "And that's how I came to go to London, not because I particularly wanted to go, but as an affirmation of the wonderful discovery that nobody could stop me." With high spirits and new-found independence she leaves for London with plans to return to Australia in a year. Instead she establishes a life in London, gets a job, makes friends and stays for more than thirty years. When she returns to Australia, floods of long forgotten memories surface. As she looks back on her life, she slowly comes to an understanding of who she is and what her choices have been. Tirra Lirra By The River is about Nora's journey - to Sydney, to London, back home, and to herself. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First U.S. Penguin editon edition (January 3, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140069453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140069457
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,378,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One of the few books I have re-read in adulthood, having discovered it in late teenagehood. Very good indeed. Its descption of life for a woman seeking independence in Sydney on the post-WW2 period is excellent, as is the exposition of aging, and the bitter-sweetness of an expat returning to a former home. In the scenes in Brisbane suburbia you can almost smell the frangipani and mango trees!
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Format: Paperback
Jessica Anderson deserves a place alongside the equally masterful Alice Munro. Her prose is flawless, compelling, simple and elegant, and it serves a finely crafted story and page-turning plot. I don't know why Anderson is not better known, but I certainly feel lucky that I found her.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good story with surprisingly contemporary themes. Engaging writing style.
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Format: Paperback
"Tirra Lirra by the River" is the story of a woman, Nora, who grows up in the 1910s with tales of Camelot and knights and such, and she goes off and becomes married, and then as years go by, she realizes it a mistake, and runs away and becomes divorced. Friends go mad, some commit suicide, and Nora ages to her 70s where she finally goes home to find that much has changed. Kinda feminist story, but there's just something missing here.
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