Author, Jill Ker Conway's narrative is candidly written about her childhood in New South Wales, Australia. She had lived on an isolated sheep farm in the grasslands and had never saw or meet another female child until the age of seven. An eight year drought took its' toll on the family farm but perseverance availed. Education in their household was a hobby unbeknownst to Jill. She felt very secure and loved by both parents in the lonely outback and work was made to be a strong value for her.
Beautifully descriptive images of life in the bush push the imagination as Jill depicts her surroundings in an introverted childhood. At the age of eleven she was sent to school in wartime Sydney with her despondent newly widowed mother. Jill's quest for knowledge rewarded her with achievement. Through her detailed struggles and travels, she ends up to be president of Smith College and now is a professor at MIT.
This report prepared by Susan D. Minkalis
"The Road from Coorain" published in 1993 gives us a realistic view of the struggles and joys of growing up on a sheep ranch in Australia in the 30's. Jill Ker Conway gives us vivid descriptions of the near desert terrain, the ranch house isolated by miles from the nearest neighbor, and the life of a girl, home-schooled and forbidden to cry by her stoic and hard-working mother.
Best parts are the early life of the subject when her only company was the occasional hired man that came to help her father, and the hard life she lead, riding on horseback in the 100-degree heat, herding sheep.
Conway depicts the grief the family suffered after enduring a six-year drought, the death of her father, and the need to leave the outback for Sydney. Her description of the young country Australia with its rough and rowdy inhabitants brings the setting to life.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson