Review Blog

Jun 14 2013

The heiresses by Allison Rushby

cover image

Pan Macmillan, Sydney, 2013. ISBN 9781742613147.
(Age 16+) Recommended. Imagine an episode of Gossip Girls set in roaring twenties London and you can imagine the world of this novel: high society, parties, alcohol and young girls concerned about money and beaus.
The central story concerns a set of triplets who were separated at birth when their mother died. At age 17, their aunt brings them back together in the hope of restoring her sister's legacy to her nieces. But first there are several puzzles to solve and deals to be done. For the girls are essentially battling for their share in a personal fortune which could change their lives: for Thalia it could bring a welcome escape from her dour 'family', for Ro it could enable her to study at university, whilst Clio would be able to provide her ailing mother with the care she so desperately needs. The key question is whether the girls will work together in their new-found sisterhood or whether their own personal desires will stand in their way.
Whilst London in the 1920s is captivatingly drawn and Allison Rushby has assembled an engaging cast of characters, there is something rather formulaic about this novel. Each of the girls seems to be a particular type: the sharp-tongued, party-loving Thalia, the steady and rational Ro and the kind-hearted Clio (who just happens to have been raised by a vicar). Despite some twists and turns, there is also a sense of predictability in the plotting: by novel's end all has been explained, wrongs have been addressed (if not always righted) and each of the girls is looking forward to a brighter future. We even have a marriage in the closing pages.
There may be nothing particularly new in this novel but the story is told in an engaging manner and there are sufficient romantic entanglements to keep teenage girls captivated. This is an enjoyable light read but with the heady mix of drugs, alcohol and sex that seems to overtake the lives of these sisters, some school libraries may prefer to promote this book to more mature readers.
Deborah Marshall

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates