Out of the Silence

Wendy James


Out of the Silence

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Out of the Silence is a stunning debut novel about three women from very different worlds: Maggie Heffernan, a spirited working-class country girl; Elizabeth Hamilton, whose own disappointment in love has served only to strengthen her humanity; and the remarkable Vida Goldstein, the suffragist who was to become the first woman to stand for Parliament.

When Maggie’s life descends into darkness after a terrible betrayal, the three women’s lives collide. Around this tragedy Wendy James has constructed a masterfully drawn and gripping fiction. Based on a true story, it unfolds at the dawn of the twentieth century against the compelling backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement and a world on the brink of enormous change.

The novel powerfully evokes the plight of women in the early 1900s – not least their limited options, whatever their class and education. However, at its heart this is a story of love – of love gone wrong; of its compromises and disappointments; but ultimately of its extraordinary transformative power.

“This is a work of intelligence and talent informed by a deeply humane sensitivity.” Sydney Morning Herald


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Author Information

Wendy James

Wendy James was born in Sydney in 1966, and grew up in western New South Wales and the northern beach suburbs of Sydney. Over the years she has worked in a number of diverse fields (as an insurance clerk, kitchen company dogsbody, bookkeeper, childcare worker, tutor, manuscript assessor, researcher) in order to support her writing habit, her university studies and her four children. Wendy currently lives in Newcastle, NSW. Out of the Silence, Wendy’s debut novel, won the 2006 Ned …