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Praise for ‘The Sisters’ Song’.

(To read each review in full, click the link.)


The Australian Women’s Weekly (January 2018):

‘This debut novel from a gentle and perceptive new voice in Australian fiction is deeply evocative of a bygone era … This is a story we live through on every page which underlines the painful reality of history repeating itself through generations but delivers a powerful and cathartic final message.’


The Herald-Sun (20 January, 2018):

‘Affecting, heartwarming and devastating … a brilliant insight into family relationships, history repeating itself through the generations and the unparalleled bond of siblings.’


Canberra Weekly (25 January, 2018)

Well written and very evocative, this poignant novel examines the complexity of motherhood and the powerful bond of sisters.’


Good Reading (March, 2018)

The two sisters are vividly contrasted and other characters add colour and sensitivity to the story … It’s an engrossing read to follow their fortunes and tragedies.


Otago Daily Times (12 February, 2018):

‘Allan’s insights into a family’s patterns, particularly those that damage its members is present in sharp characterisation, Ida’s reflections and the vivid depiction of the context of both the time and the landscape.’


The Listener (17 March, 2018)

The characters … are well drawn and the complex relationships between the women perceptively observed.


Glam Adelaide (6 June, 2018)

The Sisters’ Song is a poignant novel brimming with relational complexity before reaching its poetic conclusion, resembling that of an imperfect cadence. It’s a novel that reaches inside and touches the heart, leaving its warm fingerprints behind.


The AU Review, ‘The Five Books You Need to Read This Summer’ (16 January, 2018):

The Sisters’ Song offers a look at Australia’s past from a different perspective and will likely appeal to … those readers that enjoy historical fiction with a strong feminine and Australian focus.’


WritingWA (January, 2018):

‘Exploring themes of forgiveness, generational cycles of behaviour, sisterhood, and the bonds of family, the stories of these two sisters and their tumultuous relationship, set in the serene backdrop of the Tasmanian landscape, will be moving for any reader.’


Tasmanian Writers Centre Recommended Reads (January 2018):

The Sisters Song is a story that will resonate with women of all ages.’


Jamaica Blue Magazine (Autumn 2018)

‘The Sisters’ Song’ is a beautiful and tragic story that unpacks the best and worst of family relationships.


Kate Forsyth on Booktopia:

‘Love, grief, loss, betrayal, and the enduring love of the two sisters weave a heart-breaking story that lingers long in the memory.’



‘Louise Allan serves up a fine contribution to the Australian historical fiction genre, with her heartfelt rendition to the bonds of sisters and the circle of life. The Sisters’ Song is an outstanding debut.’



‘A compelling, beautifully written narrative of family and, in particular, motherhood. A marvellous debut novel. A must-read.’



‘The Sisters’ Song is a story about the cruelty of women being at the mercy of their own bodies, and the expectations of a society which believed a woman’s place – and her happiness – was in the home.’


ANZ Lit Lovers:

‘The Sisters’ Song is a well-crafted debut with a compelling storyline. It would make a good mini-series, with Noni Hazlehurst in the complex role of the very difficult mother and the stunning scenery of Tasmania as a backdrop!’


Tasmanian Bibliophile @Large:

I loved this novel for two main reasons. Firstly, the setting … Secondly, Allan has developed two very different female characters, both caught up in the expectations of the era in which they lived.


Holden Sheppard

‘So much in this novel – from the mental health stuff, to the resilience, to parental disapproval and family breakdown, to Ted’s angst – is actually quite relatable for a male reader because all this stuff happens to us, too.’


Michelle Johnston

‘Its themes are universal – women’s lives thwarted by the expectations of both society and their own selves. Louise examines the relationships within families and within marriages, fraught all of them, with painstaking care. Early 20th century Tasmania is evoked with exquisite detail, and the lives of the characters are incredibly well, and beautifully sketched out.’


Theresa Smith Writes

‘Themes of motherhood and family obligation play out against a background of musical passion and thwarted dreams in this exquisite debut novel.’


Mrs B’s Book Reviews:

‘An outstanding debut and one book that without a doubt lived up to my expectations and more! A truly impeccable piece of literature.’


Marie McLean:

Authentic, engaging and melodious, it celebrates the best and worst of family relationships.’


The Book Muse:

‘It is a beautifully crafted story that shows everyone is human, and that everyone has the capability to follow their dreams, to fall, and to find their way back to who they once were.’


Seeing the Lighter Side:

‘It’s beautiful and uplifting; devastating and with plenty of truths about life, motherhood and the bond between sisters.’


Emily Paull – Writer:

‘The themes which stuck out to me the strongest, and the ones that I could relate to the most, were about what it means to be a woman, and about what happens when your dreams remain just out of your reach.’


Jodi Gibson – Writer and Author:

‘There is so much I could say about this book, so many words I could use – touching, heartfelt, poignant, stirring, emotive, sincere – all of them true. But, really words can’t describe just how beautiful this story is.’


Writing Lives:

‘Although redemption and fulfillment are found in the second generation, the losses and the sacrifices of previous generations of women are heard in the spaces between the words of the song that closes the book.’


One Woman’s Brief Book Reviews:

‘Every now and then you read one that hits your heart, this one did for me.’


Kate Murdoch—Author:

‘… the sections set in the forest showing the lives of loggers, their simple huts and the towering trees above them moving and evocative. Their poverty contrasting with the magnificence of the natural surrounds.’


Cass Moriarty:

For that is the real beating heart of the story: the age-old conflict of years gone by, of women wanting one thing and being forced to make do with another.’


Little Big Reads:

‘As readers you will take away with you a full heart that learns to love the authors description of Tasmania and what it is like to grow up with dreams that are shattered.’


Treefall Writing:

‘It was one of those novels I didn’t want to end.’


Monique Mulligan – Author:

‘Above all, it’s beautifully written, with lyrical language at times underscoring the well-crafted tale and complex characters. A book to savour.’

‘There’s also a sense of sadness and loss, of regret and forgiveness in this bewitching debut novel … Ideal for book clubs.’


Paula Xiberras from Tasmanian Times:

‘Louise with her medical knowledge was able to write clearly and sensitively on these traumatic situations.’


Tracy Bock:

‘Could not put it down.’


JC Anderson—Writer:

‘It’s an outstanding debut novel. You will, however, need some tissues.’


Lezly Herbert on Out in Perth:

‘It is a bittersweet tale of the thread connecting two sisters and the challenges that need to be overcome to reach their dreams.’


Blue Wolf Reviews:

‘Set in Tasmania, the descriptions of the mountains are quite lovely, and the land in its natural beauty is pristine.’


'The Sisters' Song' is out now!

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