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Body and Soul: Lilbet's Romance/Alexander, Gol/Paper/095787359X/S018-B
Adeline Terrace in Melbourne during 1938 is brought to vivid life in Body and Soul. The Marks young women, Julie, Ella and Lilbet's lives pivot around domestic tasks in a motherless household with their dour father. But their existence is not drudgery, and the domestic is celebrated in this fascinating book. Julie is a marvellous cook, and the aromas of her meals rise off the page.
Into their lives comes the charming Felix Goldfarb, refugee from Hitler's Germany and teller of mesmerising tales. He beguiles the extended household, but with prescience, bookish Lilbet remains sceptical.
The ambivalence Lilbet feels towards her family, her own mixed feelings toward Felix and the double-edged sword of love and envy challenge Lilbet as she struggles to mature despite her disability and the oppressive care of her older sister, Julie.
Interspersed throughout her story are Lilbet's newspaper cuttings which provide the historical and social context, from the Spanish Civil War and the threat of much wider war, to McFarlane Burnet and the influenza virus, to polio treatment, local theatre, holiday recipes, and much, much more in this richly detailed, evocative novel.