As the blurb says, 'Elizabeth Jolley is one of Australia's most significant and best-loved writers'. So, if she's using comma splices they must have a role to play. I noticed them most in a short story called Paper Children. Here are a couple of examples:
Even their letters were strange, they wrote in English because Lisa had never learned to speak anything else.The use of these constructions seems to me to give a sense of intimacy, closeness to the point of view of the two characters in the story.
Lisa tried to look forward to the visit, she knew so little about her mother, an old lady now after a life of hard work as a doctor.
And, from another story, Pear Street Dance:
No one needed to read anything, the Newspper of Claremont Street told them all the news.I guess, now that I'm looking out for comma splices, I'm going to find them all over the place...