To Carve Identity

To Carve Identity

by Susan Steggall

ISBN:978-0-9874944-4-3 (print)

ISBN978-0-9874944-5-0 (eBook)

Éditions Kusatsu, Sydney

Novels traditionally end with a ‘happily ever after’. To carve identity begins with a ‘happily into the future’. In 1949 Ellie Gilmartin returned to her native Glasgow after going to Australia to learn the truth about her parents’ tragic lives (The heritage you leave behind, 2021). If her professional career as a sculptor was progressing, her private life was in limbo as she reflected on her long-distance relationship with solicitor Jim Blackwood. He came looking for Ellie and their future began. The novel follows these two very different people as they negotiate married life – first in London, then in the NSW Hunter Valley town of Maitland. For Jim, marriage represents companionship, stability and family. For Ellie it is more complicated: how to be wife, mother and professional sculptor in mid-twentieth-century regional Australia. That she succeeds is due to determination and a belief in her talent but at story’s end she must truly fashion her own identity.