Lisa Hill of ANZ Litlovers has reviewed Katharine Susannah Prichard’s first novel The Pioneers as part of Australian Women Writers Generation 2 week, co-ordinated by Bill at The Australian Legend. Lisa quite rightly points to the influence of the romance genre on it and the silence on Aboriginal issues, especially as the South Gippsland area saw significant massacres. Perceptively, she writes, ‘So while the story does feature the obligatory bushfire, clearing of the land, home-building and the planting of subsistence crops, plus a proud declaration that It’s all ours, this land about here, the focus of KSP’s theme is redemption and the creation of a new society in which there were second chances for people who had fallen foul of unjust laws.’ It’s an interesting book for a number of reasons, from its depiction of colonial Australia to the developing voice of Katharine at the beginning of her career. It probably sold more copies than any other in Katharine’s lifetime but does not have the enduring literary interest of her best work. The Pioneers was the first book I read as I contemplated taking up the KSP biography back in January 2014; I wrote about it here and here.