Reviews

  • [A] remarkable tale...drawing chilling parellels to the inequalities of our time... A book that is both a heartfelt outpouring of pity and sorrow and an irate demand for restitution... Oh Happy Day deserves to be called Dickensian.

    Peter Conrad, Observer
  • Fascinating... [Oh Happy Day] evokes echoes of the present in speaking about the past, as all great works of history do. It's a gripping narrative.

    Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar
  • Powerfully told... [Oh Happy Day is] an impressive work, shining merciless beams of light on murky specifics of the early 1800s... She's such a forceful writer.

    Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Times
  • An extraordinary reclamation of lives usually lost to history... A model of how to construct a compelling narrative from patchy material... Other writers, from Dickens onwards, have exposed these hardships: few have done so with the rigour and bitter irony that Callil employs.

    Nicholas Clee, BookBrunch
  • Oh Happy Day gives a voice to the voiceless and adds another major work to Carmen Callil's formidable achievements.

    Brenda Niall, Australian Book Review
  • An absorbing account of empire, migration, the poverty of injustice and enduring love... The book bristles with Callil's righteous anger at the injustices meted out to her forbears, and at the parallels for our own times.

    Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
  • Oh Happy Day is a phenomenal achievement... The book covers great swathes of history... These are intriguing stories.

    Dani Garavelli, Herald Scotland
  • Callil speaks in the vehement voice of a furious warrior, adversary and advocate. She deftly wields a
    mighty weapon of words as she puts the case for the dispossessed of the 19th, 20th and 21st
    centuries... From her research, Callil can conjure jewels that light the scene, astonish and delight. Or maybe horrify... The construction of the narrative is a masterpiece of beguiling tessellation... This is a book to be read slowly, reread, treasured.

    Carmel Bird, The Australian

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