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Pretty Girls

Authors: Lisa Portolan, Samantha McDonald
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Selected as a non-fiction “best of the month” in July by Kobo

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“I know there are other people out there, just like me. People who think they are alone in life and that their cards have been dealt … But now I know there’s always time for change and there’s always a better path. You just have to look for it.” Jimmy Barnes, Working Class Boy


Pretty Girls is a visceral narrative of violence, personal tragedy and female resilience set against the backdrop of one of Australia’s most politically charged communities, Redfern, where sinister racial tensions underpin everything.

Evie is a woman in her mid-thirties who returns to her hometown to meet with her dying father. In coming back to the place where she grew up she has to revisit her history of violence – the death of her mother, the suicide of her brother and the domestic violence that occurred in her home. Her father only has a short time to live – she expects to find him a changed man. But he’s not. He’s unrepentant and unapologetic for his actions.

Evie has to reclaim her story – she’s not just a pretty girl, she won’t just sit down, be quiet, stay still – but getting there is more than tough, more than an ordeal – it’s a mammoth display of tenacity and strength.

Pretty Girls is ultimately a story of triumph. Evie rises from the ashes of a hellish past and re-writes her story.
There is a part of Evie in every woman and Pretty Girls seeks to start a movement.

#iamevie aims to spearhead an empowered future for women across the world.

Lisa Portolan

Lisa Portolan

Lisa Portolan is a journalist and author from Sydney. She has previously published two books, including bestseller, Happy As (Echo, Melbourne). She has written for publications like the Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, 9 Honey and 10 Daily, and appeared on the Today Show and The Drum.

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Samantha McDonald

Samantha McDonald

Samantha McDonald is an Australian director and producer. She has a degree in Law and Communications majoring in film. She has spent the majority of her career working in the fitness, sport and marketing space, as a trainer and later as a production expert. Growing up there was always a focus on looks and it […]

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4 reviews for Pretty Girls

  1. A story for all women seeking to reclaim their power and write their own narrative.

  2. A stunning narrative of personal resilience and triumph set against a history of violence.

  3. This story exposes the violence and racism often hidden politely under the surface of Australia’s history.

  4. Provides exposure to the social issues of domestic violence, rape, depression and suicide.

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