Christine Bell’s No Small Shame is impossible to put down. Her writing is wonderful, wise and empathetic. No Small Shame is a masterful debut novel, and an excellent addition to Australia’s historical fiction genre. Full review.
- Better Reading
Bell’s evocation of setting is an outstanding feature of the novel. Her social and physical landscapes of the years 1909 to 1919 are vivid with sensory and historical colour. Full Review.
- Westerly Magazine
Once I started reading No Small Shame, I could not stop. I was utterly swept up by Mary’s story and her refusal to settle for the life she is expected to lead.
- Kate Mildenhall, Author (The Mother Fault, Skylarking)
This is a novel of darkness and hope, full of insight, and written beautifully, with intelligence and sensitivity. A wonderful debut … Full review.
- Robyn Cadwallader, Author (The Anchoress, The Book of Colours)
Be prepared to be transported into the past, to be caught up in a slice of Aussie history but, mostly, swept away in a completely relatable and beautifully told tale that will move and, in the end, fill you. Outstanding. Full review.
- Karen Brooks - Author (The Chocolate Maker's Daughter, The Darkest Shore ...)
An absorbing, convincing and heartbreaking picture of a woman trapped in an impossible marriage. I ached for Mary and grew to love the defiant spirit shining through her doubts and fears.
- Jane Sullivan, Literary Critic and Author (Storytime, Little People)
Mary O’Donnell’s journey to self-awareness will have you turning the pages until the heartbreaking climax.
- Lauren Chater, Author (The Lace Weaver, Gulliver's Wife, The Winter Dress)
Mary’s compelling journey and her indomitable spirit are heartbreaking, moving and inspirational. This novel is a well-researched examination of the roles and rights of women at that time, the struggles and discrimination they faced, the hardships they were expected to endure and the small victories they celebrated, often silently. Full review.
- Cass Moriaty, Author (The Promise Seed, Parting Words)
No Small Shame is a beautiful and inspiring story about female power. Christine Bell gives us a brilliant story of female heroism and shows us that women are capable of much more than we could ever really know. Full review.
- Courtney Dyer, TheBookSlut.com
Compelling and addictive. … a rich and absorbing experience. Full Review.
- Angela Wauchop: Backstory History Journal
What distinguishes the novel is its rich characterization. Each character in this carefully drawn work lifts off the page, evoking our enduring interest and empathy.
- Nadine Davidoff, Freelance Book Editor
An epic tale of a woman who finds her voice and ultimately, her agency. Meticulously researched, ambitious in scope and compelling in realisation.