Helen McKenna's Reviews > The Mayne Inheritance

The Mayne Inheritance by Rosamond Siemon
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: great-aussie-reads-challenge-2012, australian, aww2012-challenge

As a graduate of the University Of Queensland, this was a book that immediately captivated my interest, given that the family at the centre of this grisly tale made huge financial and land donations to help establish UQ in the leafy Brisbane suburb of St Lucia. It's interesting to think that without the philanthropy of the Mayne family, the UQ campus may have remained in it's inner city location and not have developed into the massive facility it is today.

Rosamond Siemon has done a marvellous job at painstakingly piecing together the threads of what was, a shameful family secret for the Mayne family. It was as gripping as many fictional murder mystery books I've read and gave me a whole new insight into the history of Brisbane. It also highlighted the stigma of mental illness and how, due to societal expectation, it shaped the way the Mayne family lived and mainly chose not to marry or have children, lest they pass on the rogue genes.

Well written and with a good pace, The Mayne Inheritance was an easy book to read and one that kept me engaged and interested from beginning to end.

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