25 September 2023

No Job For A Girl

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Meredith Appleyard, Penguin, $32.99.

A woman proving herself by working in a man’s world has a lasting message.

Here’s a perceptive story about fighting for what you believe in, and finding love where you least expect it.

Leah Jackson forsakes familiar territory to travel to the remote South Australian outback as the resident safety supervisor and nurse. She leaves behind everything familiar to work in a construction fly camp. Everyone has told her that it’s no job for a girl, but this isn’t the first time she’s had to prove her resilience.

A confrontation between Leah and project adviser Alex McKinley is obvious. He is happy to be as far away from the city as he can get. Recently divorced, he’s reassessing where he went wrong. While he has nothing against women specifically, Alex would rather they weren’t working on his construction site, sharing his office, invading his space.

In the close confines of the desert camp, anything can happen, and Leah soon finds herself the centre of attention – from bothersome bureaucrats to injured workers and hordes of isolated men. However, it’s one man in particular who pushes her to the limit – in more ways than one.

He overrides her on occasion, but it takes him a long time to understand there was nothing wrong with Leah’s qualifications. She fits in well, is a stickler for rules and regulations and the importance of doing the right thing.

At times, it’s difficult to handle the attitude displayed by Alex towards Leah.

It takes a while for Alex to understand that Leah is suitably qualified to do the job, and has the right personality to go with it. Alex is suitably irate and regretful at the end.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.