Our latest book reviews

Deciding what to read next? Our community have spent time jotting down their thoughts on the books they’ve recently read.

Elizabeth & Elizabeth

Elizabeth & Elizabeth

Review by Janina, volunteer at Old Government House

“This book is a fascinating account of the lives and close personal friendship of Elizabeth Macquarie and Elizabeth Macarthur. Based around real historical events and documents, the author Sue Williams gives the reader an amazing view of early New South Wales through the eyes of two strong women who contributed so much to the building of the emerging colony. I love the way Sue Williams manages to bring the colony to the life. It’s easy to picture yourself in the period as people adjusted to life in a new and distant country far from their friends and family.”

Purchase Elizabeth & Elizabeth



Review by Deb, Weekend Manager at Old Government House

“Benevolence was a powerful read. It’s a fictional narrative based on the life of Darug woman Muraging (Mary James), set in and around Parramatta (including Old Government House) and the Hawkesbury River in the early years of the colony. It enabled me, as a non-Indigenous person, to identify deeply with Mary’s hopes and fears and the choices these lead her to make as she navigates her way between two worlds. It achieved this in a way that a non-fiction account of her life never could.”

Purchase Benevolence 

Saumarez book

The Ladies of Saumarez

Review by a garden volunteer at Saumarez Homestead

“The Ladies of Saumarez is an anecdotal and photographic history of the women who acted as mistresses of Saumarez Homestead between 1857 and 1981. From the first matriarch, Caroline Thomas, through to the women of the White family. Anne Philp, author, historian and granddaughter of Margaret (Maggie) and Francis (Frank) White, provides us with a glimpse into a rapidly changing society and the rural life of a privileged Australian family. Using Caroline Thomas’ diary and White family letters and photographs, we view the societal position, values and focus of these women. Importantly, we can only imagine the hard work and service provided by the nameless women required to maintain and support such a life.”

Purchase the Ladies of Saumarez

Kids Review


Review by Arthur, age 11, National Trust supporter

“It has great illustrations and is easy to understand. There are great facts about small things like bacteria and big things like gorillas. I have really enjoyed reading it with my parents. My favourite fact ever is that we share 50% of our genes with bananas!”



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Guest writers


Guest writers

Writers from the National Trust community share their stories and expertise.


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