The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchella: Comments© by Moira McAlister July 2020
This is set in the Sydney suburb of Haberfield where I was born, so I was always going to read this book, apart from the fact that Marchetta is a well-known and accomplished author, her Looking for Alibrandi considered a modern classic.
Dalhousie Street is a major road in Haberfield and the PLACE is very present with many references that locals will be familiar with; Lamonica’s IGA, Papa’s, Zenetti’s, Ramsey St., Algie Park eyc. The house itself, the main setting for the story, could be any one of a hundred or so that front Dalhousie Street.
The two main female characters are both strong and believable in their desire to maintain control of the property. As the blurb says ‘Four lives. One house. And not enough room for everyone’s baggage.’ I particularly like the character Jimmy – flawed and disadvantaged, but optimistic and focused, we know he is going to win through in the end. He is a great match for Rosie.
The writing was beautiful in parts and Marchetta’s use of dialogue is superb.