In the early 1930s, the Australian family confectionery company Darrell Lea was a sensation, its shops stacked with delicious chocolates, marshmallows, nougat and much more in line with the company's motto to 'Stack 'em high, watch 'em fly'.
It was at this time that Montague Lea met the vivacious teenage 'ticket writer' Valerie Everitt. Monty fell hard for her and, despite strong family opposition on both sides, they would marry.
Valerie was keen to have a large brood and, though her pregnancies were difficult, she gave birth to four children. But they were not enough and in 1947 she adopted the first of three more children who were designed to be playmates for her own. It was a social experiment that would end in tears, as would the fortunes of the iconic company, destroyed by the glue that once bound it together - family.Rocky Road
is the story of this chocaholic clan and the creative and eccentric woman who dominated it. Behind the irresistible sweetness of Darrell Lea lay a family who made bitter sacrifices to succeed in the candy business.
About the Author
Robert Wainwright has been a journalist for more than 30 years, rising from the grassroots of country journalism in Western Australia to a senior writer with the Sydney Morning Herald
where he was a three-time finalist in the prestigious Walkley Awards. His career has ranged from politics to crime, always focusing on the people behind the major news of the day. He is the author of, among others, Rose: The unauthorised biography of Rose Hancock Porteous
, The Lost Boy
, The Killing of Caroline Byrne
, Born or Bred
(the story of killer Martin Bryant), the bestselling Sheila
, the award-winning Maverick Mountaineer
and Miss Muriel Matters
. This is his twelfth book.