The House at Number Ten
November 27, 2012 — 21:54

Author: Dorothy Johnston  Category:   Comments: Off


Sophie Harper is abandoned by her husband, not for another woman, but a ‘raft of girls – a floating, open-ended freedom.’ Left with a four-year-old daughter to support , Sophie finds work in an old house in Canberra that is being used as a brothel. While the laws governing prostitution are being re-written, Sophie combines caring for her daughter with working in the house. She waits – for the sanction of legality, for the renovations designed by her architect friend Ann to be approved, and for her suspicious ex-husband to find out how she is making her living.

‘Johnston weaves wonderful metaphors of building and construction, of revelation and concealment. Johnston’s eloquent fingers brush with the issues of a sex worker, but linger on the worker and not the sex. Sophie’s re-fashioning is not about being a hooker but about being a woman and a good woman at that.’ (Toni Johnson-Woods, the Sydney Morning Herald)