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  • Always Greener

  • The Restless Life of Dolly Russell, an Audible Original
  • By: Kate Grenville
  • Narrated by: Kate Grenville
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,152 ratings)

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Always Greener cover art

Always Greener

By: Kate Grenville
Narrated by: Kate Grenville
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Publisher's Summary

'If there’d been a gun in her hand at that moment she knew she’d have shot them.... She’d been so pleased with little Dolly Russell, the good life she’d got for them all. Thought she had it made, had got her hands at last on the levers of her life.... Now it turned out that all that, being so pleased with herself, was no more real than a puff of smoke.'

Always Greener is an exquisite portrait of Kate Grenville's complex, conflicted grandmother, who she feared as a child and only in adulthood came to understand. Born in rural Australia, Dolly Russell becomes a successful businessperson, mother and troubled wife. Then came the depression, bankruptcy and World War I. Yet, in a way, those disasters freed her. They allowed her to use her intelligence and ambition to make a space for herself in a man’s world.

With all the pathos and subtlety that defined Grenville’s Australian classics such as Lilian’s Story and her Booker-shortlisted The Secret River, Always Greener tells the story of a generation of women often forgotten at our own cost.

©2021 Kate Grenville (P)2021 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

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What listeners say about Always Greener

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Deep knowing

This surprisingly insightful and moving narrative is both engaging and deeply moving. Beautifully expressive, Kate’s voice adds to the enjoyment of a moment in time, not usually acknowledged or regarded in present day Australia.

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An important work: feminist historical narrative

Prolific and highly respected Aussie author Kate Grenville takes us into the life and times of her smart and strong Grandmother, Dolly, in this important historical narrative. Grenville 's style is simple and empathetic, engaging from start to finish as we follow Dolly's journey from her hard-working childhood through to old age. With backdrops including war and The Great Depression, and country and city life, in an era that neither prized nor supported women's rights or intellects, Dolly's strength, smarts and determination are put to the test repeatedly as she chooses to take on new challenges, while struggling to deal with family relationships in a difficult world. Simultaneously Dolly is attempting to satisfy her own needs and assert herself as a woman. This book gives some moving insights and a respectful nod to a generation of resourceful and resilient women who fought to survive in a very hard world. Dolly's story is so beautifully told. Definitely one for the sisterhood - read it!

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1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful story beautifully narrated!

Just a delight to listen to, thank you so much Kate! Highly recommend listening to, historically interesting & very engaging from beginning to end.

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great listen

this was a fascinating listen. we really need to be grateful to these pioneering women who paved the way before us.

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An ode to women born at the wrong time

I have often thought about all the women who have gone before me and what it was like to live in a world constructed entirely to keep them small. Where what was and is, will always be. Breaking these societal rules meant disconnection, further lack of opportunity and even less autonomy. This beautiful book examines this paradigm in a way that is painfully self-aware, hopeful, honest and raw. I loved Dolly and her smarts and the honesty with which she told her story. Thank you for bringing to light what it's like for so many women, regardless of era, but especially those who have paved the way for more freedoms, choice, love and being true to ourselves.

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Wonderful story

A gentle, non- judgemental recollection of one woman's life, her loves and struggles, raising her children, while endeavouring to forge her own way in the world in tough times

The story began from word one and simply told the story in a way that held my interest until the last word. Lovely and thought provoking.

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This book is lush with greenery.

I found myself feeling thoughtful reflective and most of all grateful after listening to Dolly Russell’s story. My grandson is another fifth generation for my mothers line. 2023 and I celebrate our matriarchs 100th year.

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Always Greener

Kate Grenville provides a thoughtful examination of not only her grandmother’s life but an understanding of the lives of women of that time.

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Beautiful representation of life as it was before technology hit us

These days when we are all complaining how hard life is, with Covid restrictions it helps to reflect how much harder it was, especially for women in the early 1900’s and how far we’ve come

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Always Greener

Loved this story & all its detail will listen again to understand just how strong the ladies of yester year were

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.