Funny. Whimsical. Uplifting.
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The Knighton Women's Compendium

Denise Picton

It’s 1982. The Knighton women, all living under one roof, are about to be struck with dance marathon fever . . .

Holly, aged twelve, is the youngest of the Knighton clan, and has got her sights set on becoming the best dancer Australia has ever seen. But to do that, she will need to win the dance marathon in front of a crowd of elite tap royalty.
Everything is going to plan, until Gran decides the marathon is the latest focus of her activism, bringing the women’s movement’s progressive values to Adelaide’s premier social event of the year. Even worse for Holly, her mother, Lucy, is on the precipice of moving in with the dreaded Weasel Features, who has made his disdain for Holly no secret.
Meanwhile Greaty, the matriarch of the family, has got her hands full rewriting the rules of The Women’s Annual, weighing up time-honoured traditions of housekeeping and reflecting on what makes a woman’s life her own, rather than at the beck and call of society’s rules – and men.
Bring on a generational conflict that’ll leave sequins on the dancefloor.
A story about family, the changing lives of women in the 20th century, and the joy of fulfilling one’s purpose and dreams, The Knighton Women’s Compendium is the heartwarming story of the summer.

About the Author

Following the establishment of a career leading human services, Denise Picton retrained in business and established a management consulting firm that has worked across Australia and Asia for over thirty years. In her twenties she published short fiction in literary journals, and returned to writing to begin work on a series of novels in her fifties. The Knighton Women's Compendium is her second novel.  

Praise for The Knighton Women's Compendium

'a cleverly conceived and uplifting novel that weaves one girl's odyssey into a reflection on how feminism and the women's experiences that have shaped it, changes over time' – The Age

 An engrossing family saga.’ – Who Magazine

Praise for The Family String

'I adored The Family String  warm, funny, heartfelt and impossible to put down. One of the most resonant voices I’ve had the joy of reading in a very, very long time. Dorcas is a truly unforgettable character – finishing this book felt like taking a deep breath and bidding a bittersweet farewell to a well-loved friend.' — Eliza Henry-Jones, author of In the Quiet


 'A heart-breaking but also wildly funny coming of age novel, which made me want to reach into its pages so I could give Dorcas a massive hug.'  Red magazine


‘Picton nails Dorcas’s voice in this heart-warming coming-of age novel set in 1960s Adelaide, in a family where resilience is set against the difficulties of depression and family mishaps.’  The Daily Mail


'Picton establishes a strong rapport between reader and character. Dorcas is such a deep, rich, lovable character ... A really engaging read.'  Good Reading


'When I was not reading this book, I was thinking about this book. My heart was with Dorcas on every step of her journey.’ – Aurelia Orr, Readings ​


‘If you’re into complex depictions of mother-daughter relationships this one’s for you.’ – Pedestrian




Pub Date
January 2023




Family. Nostalgia.