|About the Book|
Illusion explores the challenges faced by a female executive who accepts a job in Perth, Australia. She is head-hunted to lead a significant government-funded organization with a national brief to take Australian citizens access to knowledge andMoreIllusion explores the challenges faced by a female executive who accepts a job in Perth, Australia. She is head-hunted to lead a significant government-funded organization with a national brief to take Australian citizens access to knowledge and information into the 21st century.The novel questions the power wielded by senior public servants, ministers and their advisers, the parliament and the media. In particular, it asks how a woman from another country who has never worked in government can navigate her way through the maze that is the uniquely Australian version of the Westminster form of democracy.There are many novels about the trials and tribulations of the middle-aged woman. They are brilliant expositions and explorations of the difficulties brought about by desertion of a lifelong partner for a younger woman- the tragedy of illness in a parent or a child- the despair of the empty nest or the ageing face in the mirror in a society that worships youth.But what of the successful executive who has traversed male-dominated spaces? The woman who has sacrificed time, health and alternative lives where there might have been children and grandchildren? What of the woman who has struggled to get to the top only to find that the view is not what she expected?Illusion has as its central character Elizabeth Persephone Wallace, a woman in her early 50s who finds herself back in a country to which her family migrated when she was 16 years old. She returned to Scotland after a failed marriage and built a new life in her family’s company in Glasgow.Returning to Australia is fraught with difficulties but she is excited by the opportunity to make a difference, working at the highest levels in government. Her passion for knowledge and the power of story drives her. After years of working in publishing, she is excited at the possibility of setting government policies that can benefit everyone.What she discovers is a political game for which she can find no rule book. Surrounded by powerful networks of media, government ministers, social elites and public servants with their own agendas, she encounters barriers that make no sense to her.She has left a long-term lover behind in Scotland as well as a successful career in the corporate sector. With unfinished personal troubles haunting her and increased media scrutiny she begins to wonder whether she has made the right decision.She receives unexpected support from some quarters and, at the same time, incomprehensible aggression from others. Thanks to the appearance of a mysterious but wise older woman, as well as the help of new friends, she discovers the courage to deal with the corruption she uncovers.In the process she heals old wounds and builds a new sense of identity.This is a novel that does not easily fit into genre. It is neither chick-lit nor romantic comedy. It demonstrates the power of one womans story against the odds, navigating her career journey through the corridors of political power. There are lessons to be learned but, most of all, this is one womans journey to finding her power.