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Who the Hell is Phyllis!-bookcover

By: D.M. Sadleir

Who the Hell is Phyllis!

Pages: 288 Ratings:
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Vivienne’s diary delves deep into the societal intricacies of the early 1900s, where the newly minted Royal Australian Navy drew its cultural moorings from the upper echelons of the Royal Navy. In 1916, a heart-wrenching tragedy shatters the façade when Vivienne, the Headmaster’s elder daughter, is believed to have taken her own life.

Left in the wake of this calamity is twelve-year-old Phyllis, who grapples with grief and abandonment. With her parents emotionally absent and physically distant, she finds solace in Tally, cadet-midshipman and Vivienne’s beau. But as war calls him to Scapa Flow in 1917, Phyllis is cast adrift.

In her quest for affection, Phyllis stumbles, her heart often leading her astray, until fate causes her to marry Tally, now a Lieutenant. Yet, what promises a safe harbour turns stormy with a loveless union and Tally’s deteriorating health. As Phyllis navigates a life marred by addiction and multiple marriages, her constant remains Ginnie, her ever-faithful Persian cat, who not only provides solace but also offers a unique narrative lens, weaving a tale of love, loss, and resilience.

D.M. Sadleir, OAM, is closely connected with the Royal Australian Navy and is a past Chair of ANTaR, Armidale, a local community group involved with the Anãwan Aboriginal People. The research for this book was extensive, talking over five years of searching, not only for the answer to Who the Hell is Phyllis?, but finding the correct Aboriginal place names on which the protagonists walked, including the Aboriginal servants who worked for the Wheatleys. The author’s first book, Jewels of New England, Vol 1 was published in 2017; Vol 2 will come out next year. In the meantime, NED will be launched in mid-2024, and Emma Eugenia – Bride Ship will be launched in 2025. 

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