A fascination with 1970s Australia, a time of change in many women's lives, prompted the debut novel of an author who will visit Albury later this month.
Journalist and communications consultant Suzanne Daniel said Allegra In Three Parts began as "a bit of a private hobby" eight years ago, exploring the second wave of the women's movement.
"This book was about for me honouring the women that have gone before us and all the hard-fought gains that they had made that we benefit from," she said.
"But also I wanted to inspire younger women to keep going because we need to remain vigilant to make sure that the benefit of the changes don't sort of slip away."
Daniel will discuss the inspiration and journey of her book, published by Pan Macmillan Australia, during a lunchtime event at Atura Albury on June 26.
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"I really hoped to write a book the whole family could read and it would throw up points of discussion and issues that would be of interest to all, a range of ages," she told The Border Mail.
Set in 1970 Bondi and written from the viewpoint of 11-year-old Allegra, the story sees the title character being reared by her two grandmothers, who are neighbours but complete opposites.
Matilde insists on discipline, duty and restraint while Joy is a free spirit who honours emotions.
Nearby is Allegra's father Rick, who tries to be a good dad but finds himself pushed out by those strong women.
"The mother's off the scene and the reveal occurs in the book as to why," Daniel said.
"These three adults cherish Allegra, but they don't speak to one another.
"She's got to orbit their three adult worlds, so she becomes a bit of a go-between.
"She's conscious that it's almost like she's the uniting force for all three so she's got to keep everything in balance between them and love them all equally."
The inevitable tension does reach a crisis point.
Daniel lives in Sydney with her family and has worked for ABC TV, The Sydney Morning Herald, the United Nations and BBC (London).
Her reporting background encouraged her to fully research the era of Allegra In Three Parts and what was happening in feminism at that time.
"People that have read it that grew up in the '70s are finding it really nostalgic in many ways," she said.
- Bookings via Dymocks Albury (02) 6041 1805
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