Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 9, 2015

A private launch: Solly’s Girl (2015), by Ros Collins

Lisa, Karenlee & RosToday I had the very great pleasure of attending a private launch of a book I can’t wait to read. It’s Solly’s Girl, a memoir, by Ros Collins, known to readers of this blog as the wife and literary executor of Alan Collins (1928-2008), whose books are reviewed here on this blog.  And there’s another face familiar to my readers in the photo too: it’s Queensland author Karenlee Thompson, author of 8 States of Catastrophe, (see my review) and a regular guest reviewer of short stories here … Karenlee is celebrating Solly’s Girl too because she mentored Ros throughout the writing journey and is as thrilled as I am to be toasting its birth with a glass of bubbly.

The book is the 124th in the Makor Write Your Story series, and this is the blurb:

In her introduction, Ros writes that she wants to entertain the reader; she has done a great deal more than that in this highly original, intricately woven memoir. Eschewing the easier chronological approach, Ros has created a colourful tapestry of stories from her own life in England and from her family and professional life in Melbourne, intertwined with research on ancestors both noteworthy and not-so worthy and completed with insightful writing on the career of her husband of more than fifty years, the well-known Australian Jewish author, Alan Collins.

In London the ‘boring’ fifties were coming to an end when Ros met her Aussie, Alan; she was soon to accompany him to Melbourne as a ‘Ten Pound Pom’. Box Hill, nowhere near the Jewish ‘ghetto’, was where they could afford a home in which to raise their growing family of three boys. Life in the ‘bush’ offered challenges to their Jewishness but also gave them a singular freedom. While work in advertising provided needed income for the family, Alan’s writing eventually became his sole occupation. Meanwhile, Ros began work in librarianship that would ultimately result in her making significant contributions to the field, especially within the Jewish community. Ros describes the many vicissitudes of rearing three boys with the dismay, humour and love of a Jewish mother.

Spanning well over sixty years of both Ros’ and Alan’s lives, the memoir is not only an intelligent and thought-provoking account of Australian Jewish life; it is also a loving tribute to the talent and accomplishments of a much-admired author. In the final chapters we learn of Ros’ efforts to ensure that Alan’s work is remembered after his death.

Unfortunately I’m going to be overseas for the official launch on Sunday June 14th at 2.30pm at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South.  It promises to be a splendid  occasion, with Jeanne Pratt AC doing the honours and music from Gershwin by the much-loved jazz singer Nichaud Fitzgibbon.   If you’d like to attend click the link for more information:  Solly’s Girl launch

If you’d like to pre-order the book, click the link to download the orderform.

PS That gorgeous Corgi in the photo is called Roxie:)


  1. Congratulations to Ros on the release of her book! It’s been a while coming but will be worth the wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely experience that must have been, probably even better than the actual launch because yiu got to ask the questions that mattered to you.


    • You’re right, that made it very special:)


  3. Now home, reflecting on what a fabulous whirlwind of an afternoon it was. Delightful! The launch is going to be a wonderful occasion I am sure, and I just know everyone will love the memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for making it such a special day, Karenlee:)


  4. […] You can find details of the launch and where to purchase Solly’s Girl here. […]


  5. Such a wonderful book Ros wish I could be at the launch. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m sorry to be missing it too, Ros writes so well, it’s like being in the room with her, listening to her chatting away like a friend.


  6. […] you know from my previous post I wasn’t able to get to the launch of Solly’s Girl by Ros Collins but thanks to Ros, […]


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