Thursday, November 17, 2011

The House on the Hill by Estelle Pinney

It's the 1920's in Far North Queensland and the three Dalton Sisters are boarding with Mrs Sanders in the house on the Hill.  There's Josie - the eldest of the three - who has big ambitions for herself and finds her life throwing her curve will test her in more ways than one.  Then, there's Molly who reigns in as the head cook at King's Hotel.  She can whip up any style of gown right down to the finest detail. However, her happiness with her sweetheart, Fred, has been threatened by something out of their control.  And the youngest of the three, Belle, is a talented singer and dancer who tours with a vaudeville troupe as they follow the rodeos and shows of western Queensland.  Belle is being romantically pursued by the hot and handsome Greek local Nicos Alexandros; the owner of the swankiest cafe around.  However, will she choose to settle down and leave her beloved troupe and marry Nicos?  

I loved reading this book after buying it from Estelle herself; then she signed it for me in 2005.  However, I'm sure I did a review of this book a few years ago here as I have a photograph of it on my files (and I would have used it on here for this particular purpose; oh well).  The one thing I do remember from this wonderfully-written book is the pineapple sandwiches that Estelle writes about.  She has told me about them; saying she ate them when she was young and traveling around; and that I really must try them out.  However, I don't like pineapple and can't see them in a sandwich; but that's just me.  Have a read about how they are served up are in this book; as they do sound delicious.

Estelle Pinney grew up and Cairns in the tobacco town of Mareeba, North Queensland. She left school at the age of thirteen to work as a colourist in her grandfather's photographic studio. Estelle's eventful adult life saw her working as an ambulance driver for the US army during World War II; as a beauty consultant; and as a registered deckhand on her husband's crayfishing boat in the Torres Strait. She is the author of Time Out for Living (1995) and A Net Full of Honey (1996), and co-author of Too Many Spears (1978) with late husband Peter Pinney.  Burnt Sunshine, was released by Penguin in 2008. Estelle currently lives in Brisbane.


  1. Hi Mozette

    I've been trawling Aussie book blogs in search of reviews of books by Australian women writers and I found your blog. Thanks for introducing me to this novel and another Australian author.

    Is this the only Aussie book you've reviewed, or is it just that you haven't tagged your posts as "Australian fiction"?


  2. Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. However, Estelle isn't my first Aussie author I've reviewed; but she is the first one I've labeled as an Australian Author... and really I should have done that with all of my Aussie-written books to make it easier to find them.

    I have written up reviews on titles such as:

    'Jacarandas and Verandahs' by the Ashgrove Writers'
    'The Blank Page' by John Dale'
    'The Spare Room' by Helen Garner

    Actually, as I've written these in, I've looked them up on the search box on the side bar and added them into the Australian Author label for you... to save you time looking for them. Hope you enjoy the reviews.

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