In case you missed it, I am doing a reading challenge this year. I have joined with many other reading lovers to complete the 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge, where we read, review and promote stories written by Australian Authors.
My goal is 6 books for the year and so I am so excited that I have finished my first one as I am such a slow reader!
Book number one was actually given to me as a Christmas present from my sister, she chose it after I told her I like to read real life stories and country romance novels. Well this book ticked both those boxes.
The year was 1959 and Mary Groves was just fourteen years old when her parents uprooted their family from Melbourne and moved to Mataranka; a small, isolated town in the Northern Territory, to run the Post Office and General Store.
This autobiography follows Mary's journey from Melbourne to Mataranka and beyond. She was just 17 when the handsome horse-breaker, drover and rodeo rider Joe Groves wanders into the store and catches her attention. Despite him being 15 years her senior, their relationship develops and not everyone is happy about it.
We travel through the relationship with Mary and Joe as they bunny hop their way around the Top End working on, managing and sometimes owning cattle station after cattle station. We see the birth of their 4 children and follow the trials and tribulations that come with being in such a remote part of Australia in the 1960's and 1970's, often living in little more than a caravan, as they pursue their dream property and dream home.
The stories she recalls are set in a time in Australian history that I think many people would know little about. A time of such change and development for our white society, but more so for our Aboriginal people and Mary treats these changes with, what I think, is a great deal of respect.
Whilst I did not find this to be a book that 'you can't put down' I did find Mary's stories interesting, her life intriguing and it kept me turning the pages ready for the next yarn til the very end.Anyone with an interest in Australian history, the Outback and rural life in general will find this story appealing.
Linking my review to Essentially Jess for IBOT but also to the Australian Women Writers page.