Book Review: Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

Maggie’s Going Nowhere…

About the Book:

Maggie’s Going Nowhere is a fierce and funny debut introducing a thoroughly relatable and offbeat heroine. If you enjoy Fleabag, you’ll adore Maggie!

‘A compulsive and hilarious read. In Maggie, Hartley has created one of those indelible characters of whom we must thoroughly disapprove and yet cannot help but love.’ Karen Joy Fowler

Maggie Cotton’s life is a hot mess.

In one day, she’s dumped by her boyfriend, disinherited by her mum, and kicked off the three-year degree course she’d stretched to a decade. And that was before she received the letter saying she owed the government $70,000.

But that’s no reason to grow up, is it?

With a decrepit 1960s caravan to call home, Maggie has to prove to her mother she can survive without a safety net, stop her loyal best friend Jen from marrying a scumbag, and convince her sexy workmate Rueben that she’s not a walking disaster. For someone who’s spent her life avoiding hard work, she sure can move mountains when she’s got a little motivation – just don’t ask her to move the caravan.

My Thoughts:

I’m not usually one to like a character who typifies the very definition of a no-hoper, much less one who is an over-entitled bludger with zero tact and no ambition whatsoever to improve their lot in life, preferring instead to blame others for her problems whilst holding out a hand for a spare fifty. Nevertheless, every now and again, I am utterly surprised and delighted by a book and enjoy every single sentence of it, as was the case with Maggie’s Going Nowhere.

In essence, this novel is about Maggie’s coming of age – very late coming of age – but it also touches on some Australian contemporary themes of importance: homelessness, the struggle to find work if you have no skills or a prison record, and the utter ridiculousness of dealing with Centrelink – Maggie’s experiences sure brought back some memories from my own student days of dealing with that organisation. Maggie’s Going Nowhere is addictive and entertaining, I read it in a day, laughing and shaking my head all the way through. Who would have thought that this would end up a five star read for me? Highly recommended and I sincerely hope this one gets adapted for film or TV.


Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of Maggie’s Going Nowhere.

About the Author:

Rose Hartley is a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Adelaide with her cat, Doris, and her 1962 caravan, Cecil. Maggie’s Going Nowhere is her first novel.

Maggie’s Going Nowhere
Published by Penguin Random House Australia – Michael Joseph
Released on 7th January 2020

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Maggie’s Going Nowhere by Rose Hartley

    • I published this review ages ago for Better Reading preview, but quite a few people asked me to remind them of it at release, so I just set it up as a new post. Which, I have always maintained, confirms my dislike of posting about books that aren’t released yet. I have a lot of kindle followers who buy as they see my reviews, so the books really need to be out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to agree with you on that, nothing more frustrating than seeing a book you would love to read and it’s not out yet. Then you forget to seek it out when it releases! Those Better Reading Previews are hard to keep to word limit wise and then there is is whole issue of pre release reviews. Anyway, I thought this was a good review and is certainly reminded me to move it to the top of the review pile!

        Liked by 1 person

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