The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

  • by Sophie Green
  • Narrated by Fiona Macleod
  • 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Books bring them together - but friendship will transform all of their lives. Five very different women come together in the Northern Territory of the 1970s, by an exceptional new Australian author.
In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard, and people are isolated. But they find ways to connect.
Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe's designated successor, but he has left the Territory - for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother's place. But that doesn't stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child. With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben's English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.
Mother-of-three Sallyanne is invited to join them. Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town of Katherine, where she lives with her difficult husband, Mick. Completing the group is Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land.
If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Thorn Birds, you will devour this story of five different women united by one need: to overcome the vast distances of Australia's Top End with friendship, tears, laughter, books and love.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Australian Cattle Station 1978

This engaging and endearing story was set in the Northern Territory of Australia on a vast cattle station called Fairvale in the late 1970s. I loved so many things about this book--the narration, the writing, and especially the vibrant descriptions of Australia. The characters were strong and the dialogue was believable.

The action in the book took place over a span of three years and the start of each new year in the book had a quick overview of the dates and momentous things that occurred in history that year. It was fun to hear what was going on in the world at the time. This provided a great framework or back drop for the story being told. In addition, I particularly enjoyed how Green captured everyday life on the station, the hard work, the extreme weather and the isolation. Friendship and self-reliance were strong themes in the story.

I almost didn't buy this book because it was listed in the chick-lit category--usually something I avoid. Then I read a very positive review in the paper that had the book listed as historic fiction. In the end I'm not sure where the book fits best but I am glad that I gave it a try.

Do be aware that the book club aspect of the story isn't developed beyond the occasional mention of a title. The club was really just a storytelling vehicle for the women to gather and connect. I would have liked to have heard more about the books the characters were reading. I think it would have added depth to the story.

Recommended if you like books set in distinct locations with a strong feeling of life in the 1970s.

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- Sara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-08-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Australia Audio