Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Historian's Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Historian's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Historian's Daughter

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In an old house with 'too many windows and women,' high in the Indian hills, young Hannah lives with her older sister Gloria; her two older brothers; her mother, 'the Magician;' a colourful assortment of aunts, blow-ins, and misfits; and her father, 'the Historian.' It is a world of secrets, jealousies, and lies, ruled by the Historian but smoothed over by the Magician, wh ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published September 9th 2016 by UWA Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Historian's Daughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Historian's Daughter

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Guy Salvidge
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful story. The first section, detailing Hannah's childhood with her parents the Historian and the Magician (and the rest of their extended family), was very evocative, so much so that I was disappointed when it was over. Happily, the rest of the narrative jumps forward and back in time and location from India, to Australia, to Iran and back again. As good as the first half was, the story really built up a head of steam in the second half in a way I wasn't expecting. What this is ...more
I read most of this book in one day, gripped from start to finish by Hannah's story. I was intrigued and spellbound by the structure and subject matter of the story - like reading through a kaleidoscope - the colours and shapes kept shifting and colliding in fractured beauty. I loved the way in which past and present were woven together through the time-shifting structure of the novel, so that mysteries from the past were unfolded and revealed at just the right moment later in the story, when Ha ...more
Josephine Clarke
This book just fell into my mind. I hardly had to read, the words were so naturally connected from one scene to the next. I found much that I recognised in this story about what is lost in relocating a family from one cultural setting to a new one, although I know India only through literature.
Families are such complex beasts. Allegiances shift with time. The way we see the world as children is so different from an adult perspective, and the heart takes time to learn new lessons.
The characters i
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'This is not the story he wanted me to tell'. This first line of the story sets up not only the tale to come, but the lyrical and sensory experience that follows.
The story is set in three countries—India, Iran and Australia. It begins in India and is told from the perspective of Hannah, a young Anglo-Indian girl living in a 'house with too many windows and women' and a huge library of books. Hannah's world isn't the stereotype of India we expect; it's much more complex and rich, and in other wa
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Historian's Daughter is not only a beautifully written novel; it’s also enthralling. It’s the kind of book you look forward to reading, eking it out until the very last page. I loved it, and look forward to reading more books by the gifted Rashida Murphy.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Amanda Curtin
Rashida Murphy is another writer to add to my recent Authors from Western Australia post, and her debut novel, The Historian’s Daughter, comes recommended to me by one of my favourite authors, Amanda Curtin.

It’s an impressive debut. More than a quest for identity, it is a vivid portrait of extended family life in India, and an homage to the freedom of life in Australia which allows for different kinds of family to emerge.

The story begins high in the Sahyadari hills in India, the decay of traditi
Marie McLean
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is fiction that reads like a memoir. Written in a conversational tone, extraordinary events which happen throughout Hannah’s life are revealed in the most casual manner - often with a touch of dry humour. The writing is divine and the dialogue so genuine I felt like I was eavesdropping on private family conversations.

Written in four parts (Family, Immigrants, Revolution and Home) the novel traverses India, Iran and Perth, Western Australia over several decades. Through Hannah’s eyes (from c
Kelly Kittel
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
SPOILER ALERT! I loved the first half of this book. The characters, the setting, but especially the food! Loved the magician mom. The second half was a bit disjointed and left me with unanswered questions and a feeling of disappointment that the magician chose to remain apart from her family in the end. All in all, a worthwhile read best read while eating in an Indian Restaurant!
Sal Ly
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was fluent and simple to read. Not a complicated story with all well- described characters.

With an half-Iranian character - Farah- it was so sweet to me, as an Iranian lady, to see our words, expressions and culture in a non-Iranian book.

Absolutely recommend reading it.
Kali Napier
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Abandoned by her mother, Hannah's family moves to Perth from India. A search for her identity. Lilting and sensory.
Micah Horton hallett
Rashida Murphy's creative writing PhD work makes my own M.Litt attempt look like the giant steaming pile of pooh that it most assuredly is. Though well written, well paced and engaging, the twists were telegraphed too early and too clearly to be really effective. Still had a tear in my eye on the last pages however.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Rashida Murphy takes the reader on a journey through India, Australia and Iran through the experiences of the narrator/protagonist, Hannah/Maryam. Murphy's beautiful imagery and delightful turns of phrase bring alive the various settings, and she captures the most striking qualities about each of locations in this sweeping novel.

The entire story, told by an unreliable narrator, jumps time and place frequently. I found the time jumps laboriously clunky, leaving plot holes in their wake. Murphy's
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just wow! Don't know if I can put it into words. This book has a flavour and style of its own which I loved. The characters were believable, lovable, dislikable and oh so human. I feel like I have just returned from a journey to a different world. Read this book in 24 hours, such an interesting story. Love how Rashida Murphy can pack so much into each paragraph. Don't think this review does it justice but believe me when I say it's a fantastic book.
Kathryn West
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hannah and her sister Gloria are very close until Hannah betrays her sister's trust when she is angry. Hannah is a child and cannot know the consequences of what she started. There are terrible secrets that precede this and the family is torn apart. Hannah her brothers and her father end up in Australia, her sister with her husband in Iran and her mother and aunt in India. A story of longing for what's lost, surviving horror and ultimately love.
Susan Dunn
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A different novel that had me wondering just how much is autobiographical and how much is fiction. I enjoyed reading the novel though as it had quite a unique style that was engaging in its difference. India is fascinating and the meagre insights I have were greatly enhanced by the skilful narration and gradual unfolding of the mysteries surrounding the characters. I look forward to further writings by Rashida Murphy.
Steven Castle
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read, great insight into life in two different parts of the world
rated it did not like it
Sep 27, 2016
rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2017
Corrinne Hills
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2017
Monti Karus
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2017
Sallyann Richards
rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2017
Jean Mitchell
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2018
Lynne Leonhardt
rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2017
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2017
rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2017
Sonia Nair
rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2016
rated it liked it
Jul 26, 2017
Rachel Greaves
rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2017
Melanie Hood
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2017
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »