Elizabeth Jolley was a fine writer. Her publishing career began when she was in her 50s in Australia, but as author Brian Dibble demonstrates, her writing developed through the decades in England and Scotland, from her family of origin, to boarding schools and hospital wards, and into her independent adult life. The array of wild characters in her fiction - misfits and those on the edge of society - can also be found in the Jolley's remarkable life. It could be said that the times suited Jolley's rise as a major Australian writer, when old habits - of who and what could be published - were broken. Brian Dibble was given complete access to the writer's private papers and has spent more than a decade travelling the world to follow leads on the story of Elizabeth Jolley. This is a lyrical and readable biography, one that presents a world of family and pleasures, but is always infused somewhere with an unexpended sadness.