The Happiness Glass by Carole Lefevre
But what did teenage girls in country towns want with Latin and French and art?
What use would it be to them?
The literary longings of a studious girl born into a working-class family, hot afternoons in a dust-plain Wilcannia schoolhouse; the temptation to stay, and the perils of breaking free - The Happiness Glass reflects complex griefs in the life of Lily Brennan.
Lily's story allows the author to navigate some of the difficulties of memoir, and out of its bittersweet blend of real, remembered, and imagined life, the portrait of a writer gradually emerges.
In fiction that forms around the core of a memory, life writing that acknowledges the elusiveness of truth, Carol Lefevre has written a remarkable, risk-taking book that explores questions of homesickness, infertility, adoption, and family estrangement, in Lily Brennan's life, and in her own.
There is something about a girl reading, writing, and showing a preference for solitude that provokes people.