About the book


Who was it that said that ‘Heaven is a concept… free of time but rooted in place’ ?

As the train pulled out of Central Station anxious and bewildered Brigid Mary O’Brien sat staring out the window as the train wrenched her away from the sanctuary of the cloistered life she had lived for almost seven years.

In Canberra, worldly and shamelessly carnal Dougal Alexander Macgregor, widower and negligent father was actively seeking a wife to help him make a home for his four children.


A Dream in a Tea Cup is set in Westlake, a workmen’s settlement in Canberra 1949. Brigid shares her life and that of her closest female friends through her journal and night-time dreams.

Follow the women who live at ‘the gap,’ and others, like Madge and Jean, the sisters who own the tea shop in Manuka and where their secret life comes close to being exposed.

Join these remarkable women on a pilgrimage of self-discovery. Laugh and cry with them in their daily struggle to make sense of their lives in what was very much a patriarchal society. A time when women were brain washed into narrowly defined roles and hampered by the constraints of men in power, politics and the church. And then rejoice with Brigid when it appears she has indeed managed to create her own heavenly place on earth.


In praise of  A Dream in a Teacup

Advanced praise from early readers…

~ Character is the heart of a story, and this fine tale has plenty of that.

~ A Dream in a Teacup is a story with universal appeal with messages of human suffering, strength and growth in communities of bygone times but with messages for today. It’s a book you will want to talk about and share with others.

~ A Dream in a Teacup is a reminder of life’s real values, no matter where we come from or what our station in life is. For older readers, particularly those of the Catholic faith, it’s a walk down memory lane. And those interested in Canberra’s early history will revel in Eva’s details of bygone common artefacts, traditions and places. A thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read tale which will hold your interest from beginning to end.

~ Thankyou Eva for an invigorating, rambling, jaunt around early Canberra. I loved your working-class characters, and the likes of the Reverend Father O’Doherty. And please, don’t tell me this is it. You are a born story-teller, and I for one, want more from you.

~ You drew me into the story, it was as if I was there, warming my backside in front of one those old Canberra fuel stoves. I was thoroughly captivated by your characters’ lives, loves and exploits, and several times, was brought to tears.

~ Resilience, mateship, tolerance, bigotry, racial prejudice, unfaithfulness and spiritual longing. You’ve covered the lot. Your story is a reminder of our universal ‘humanness’ and the connection we all have with each another. I love the way you take us on an exploration of the paradoxes and conflicts of life, of the light and dark. Love and grief and the wild and the tamed.

~ With extraordinary devotion, Eva Warren has brought to life a time and place in Canberra’s early history that would otherwise have faded and died.

~ I loved Brigid who in my opinion is the epitome of a human heart in conflict with itself. While, at the same time, a fully realised character.

~ A Dream in a Teacup has a classical sense of time and place.

~ Follow the interlocked lives of Brigid’s family, friends and neighbours as the story of her life meanders through different conflicts, indignities and occasional triumphs.

~ Eva has created a heart-warming tale about female friendship by drawing an enchanting cameo of family and community life into the novel, resulting in an uplifting tale of sisterhood and survival.