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Victoria Purman returns with highly anticipated novel

Victoria Purman returns with highly anticipated novel
27 April 2023

Author Victoria Purman
Author Victoria Purman
Author Victoria Purman

Mount Gambier Library welcomes the return of bestselling author Victoria Purman with her highly anticipated novel A Woman's Work on Thursday 11 May 2023 at 7:00pm.

Victoria Purman is recognised for her thoroughly researched historical sagas, where she weaves the magic of storytelling by blending fact and fiction.

A Woman's Work is set in 1956, when women around Australia were cooking up a storm to win the equivalent of a year's salary in the Australian Women's Weekly cookery contest.

"The storyline for this book first started when my dear friend, who owns a second-hand bookshop in Adelaide, presented me with an original 1956 Australian Women's Weekly Cooking Contents Winning Recipes booklet," Ms Purman said.

"Six thousand pounds was an astronomical amount of money at the time. It was the total prize pool, with winners taking various sums of money. It got me thinking, in 1956, to build a new house was £7,500, an iron was £5, so it was life-changing money for housewives in Australia".

Victoria's two main characters from the book are a housewife and a single mother who works as a medical receptionist. Both leading similar and different struggles that women faced in the 1950s.

In researching the book, Victoria took it upon herself to re-create some of the winning recipes, such as 'Curried Steak and Spaghetti', complete with sultanas and apples!

Team Leader Library Programs Kristi Brooks said A Woman's Work is far more than a story about cooking.

"The story is multilayered and touches on various issues such as the lasting effects of war, what that looked like for both women and men, discrimination, society's expectations, and the excitement of the upcoming 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and the anticipation for the first television in Australia that same year."

This is a free event with refreshments provided and books available for sale. Bookings are required. Contact Mount Gambier Library on 8721 2540 or book online at under 'Programs and Events'.

Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Madeleine Brookes on 8721 2401 or

A Womans Work by Victoria Purman - Cover