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Without a Backward Glance

by Kate Veitch

      Kate Veithch, an Australian journalist, has written her first novel, Without a Backward Glance. It tells the story of the four McDonald children, Deborah, Robert, James and Meredith, and their parents, Alex and Rosemarie. The story begins on Christmas Eve, 1967.

Rosemarie is originally from England, transplanted to Australia when she married hard-working Alex McDonald. She was a seamstress with a flair for fashion design. But when she mentioned starting her own fashion label, the Melbourne ladies seemed to view that as bragging. Oh, they loved having her design one of a kind clothes for them—as long as she didn't demand any special recognition for it.

Then, on a stifling hot Christmas Eve in 1967, she told her children she was going to get some lights for the Christmas tree. While they waited, the children heard a car approaching. They looked out in time to see a strange car pull up in front of the house. Their mother got in with two big suitcases and vanished from their lives. Rosemarie walked out on her husband and four children without even a backward glance.

The story begins again twenty-five years later. The children are grown with children of their own, except for James. Deborah, the oldest, has political aspirations, and is working for a politician. She and her husband, Angus, have one child, a daughter. Robert the oldest son, and his wife, Vesna, have two daughters. Meredith, the youngest daughter, has a son Lawrence.

Though the book is well-written the plot and characters are more of a soap opera than a sensitive study of a family coping with betrayal. The outcome is all too predictable. But if you like soaps, you'll love Without a Backward Glance.

The Book

June 24, 2008
0452289475 / 978-0452289475
General Fiction
More at
NOTE: Contains profanity, explicit sex

The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2008
© 2008