It is Sydney 1963, and Desi, Bea and Stella are three women working in a Sydney advertising agency. Desi is a North Shore beauty in the television department producing ads, Bea is a copywriter, divorced, but looking to move on and Stella, a secretary turned copywriter, is ambitious, yet not as talented as her two cohorts.
In The Freudian Slip, Marion von Alderstein draws upon her own experience in advertising in the 1960s to give a realistic portrayal of life and love in 1960s Sydney. In many ways, the story is a familiar and timeless one- girls looking for love and striving for success with mixed results.
The book, for its setting in the advertising world in the 1960s will no doubt attract attention and comparison from Mad Men fans. It does have a unique Australian flavour, with its Sydney setting, its focus on the female characters (rather than the existential angst of Don Draper) and the ladies’ fashion.
There was one jarring note- as someone from Victoria, the mention of AFL footballers in the storyline was a bit of a misnomer as the AFL didn’t have that name until 1990 (it was the VFL in the 1960s).
An enjoyable and well-written book, and my first review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge!