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Monday, April 4, 2016

I Joined Another Book Club - Book Review: True North by Brenda Niall

My workplace has started a book club and being a book worm of course I had to join so I now belong to two book clubs! I work in a corporate office with intellectual types and this month's book reflected that it was a history and art lesson in one and certainly raised a lot of discussion at our lunchtime meet up.

This is a book review of our first book True North: The Story Of Mary And Elizabeth Durack by Brenda Niall

This is also part of my 2016 reading challenge at 5/12 - A book you should have read in school

This is a biography of two sisters Mary and Elizabeth Durack who were born into a pioneering family who joined with a shipping company to create Connor, Doherty and Durack Ltd - a very prominent name in Perth, Western Australia.

This was quite an interesting read of WA's history from around 1915 to 2000 and details the lives of sisters Mary and Elizabeth, their parents who owned many properties up north of WA, the father's various attempts to sell the land, the brothers lives on the stations and life in general in the outback.

The sisters become artists and writers and much of the book is filled with details of their works which I sometimes found a little hard to follow, while it was well researched, it wasn't always interesting to read.

The sisters loved life in the outback and the biography continually explains the pull these white woman had to the indigenous people, land and community. This book raised much discussion and debate on whether the things that Mary and Elizabeth did to help the Aboriginal communities and people was a help or a hindrance.

It was quite the history lesson on Aboriginal rights and I understand some Australian schools have their students read this book which I think is a great idea - I wish I'd read it in school it would have given me a much better understanding of the Aboriginal people and their integration from the outback to the city.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in West Australian history, art and indigenous affairs.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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  1. How fun to have a book club at work! We almost started one at my old work, but never got around to it.


    1. We have talked about it for many years as well so it's nice that it's finally happened :) Any excuse to read more books! x


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