The Chronicle

French history inspires story

Well-crafted story of betrayal and forgivenes­s


KATE Murdoch has had a long standing love affair with history and all things French.

The romance, bountiful culture and eventful past of France has always held a deep fascinatio­n for her and has inspired her latest novel, The

Orange Grove.

The Orange Grove tells the story of a group of mistresses set in 18th century France and explores the intrigues and rivalries of the French court as they vie for status and position.

The book explores the ambiguity of morality and how one’s upbringing and experience­s can inform one’s actions.

Duchesse Charlotte is wife of Duc Hugo d’Amboise and holds court among his five other mistresses, that is until the Duc takes on a new, much younger mistress, Letitia.

In a society where status is a matter of life and death, Henriette, one of the Duc’s five mistresses finds herself in a position where she must choose between status and morality, while hiding a painful secret of her own …

The book recreates the lives of these aristocrat­ic women as it delves deep into the complexity of female relationsh­ips, exploring the notions of sisterhood, competitiv­eness and the ultimate quest for status, love and power.

The denial of any rights for these women and their lack of control over their own lives is something Kate knows the impact of all too well.

Having always been aware of her own adoptive background, Kate drew on her own life experience­s for this book.

As a child of the 1970s in Australia, as a newborn Kate remained in hospital for three months after being left behind by her young unwed mother before being adopted out through the hospital program. The social values of Australia during the 1950-1970s looked unfavourab­ly on children born outside of marriage.

“I am thrilled to be finally releasing this book to the world,” Ms Murdoch said. “Eighteenth century French history has always fascinated me and when I merged this with my interest in the vagaries of human behaviour, I found my way into a story of intrigue, obsession and rivalry. I’m so looking forward to sharing this novel with readers.”

The Orange Grove is harrowing tale of the cruelties of women, cruelty that is both forced upon them and that which they thrust upon each other.

It is a wonderfull­y crafted tale of betrayal and forgivenes­s spanning the lives of six very different women whose lives are beautifull­y interwoven and brought alive in this fascinatin­g novel.

The Orange Grove is published by Regal House Publishing and is available to buy from November 1.

 ??  ?? LOVE OF FRANCE: Author Kate Murdoch.
LOVE OF FRANCE: Author Kate Murdoch.
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