Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club
1 March 2018
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of the book and the invitation to to be part of this blog tour
Books bring them together – But friendship will transform all their lives
In 1978 the Northern Territory in Australia has begun to self-govern and telephones are not yet a common fixture. Life is hard and people are isolated, but these five women find a way to connect.
Sybil, the matriarch of Fairvale Station, misses her eldest son and is looking for a distraction.
Kate, Sybil's daughter-in-law, is thousands of miles away from home and finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale.
Sallyanne, mother of three, dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town where she lives with her difficult husband.
Rita, Sybil's oldest friend, is living far away in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
And Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land, needs some purpose in her life.
Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship: they all love to read, and she forms a book club. As these five women bond over their love of books, they form friendships that will last a lifetime.
My thoughts about it...
Sybil Baxter, and her husband, Joe own the Fairvale Ranch and are respected keepers of the land but life can be lonely and tough for the women of the Northern Territory and so, Sybil, in an effort to draw five very different women together organises a book club, which, although only able to meet a few times a year, when the weather is favourable, gives this group of women something to look forward to. Each of them have their own set of problems and yet, it is their shared interest and compassion for each other which will see them through the worst of their troubles.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club is a lovely gentle story which brings to life the difficulties and isolation of living in such a remote area. The 1970s setting is a perfect choice and brings to life not just the people but also the inaccessibility of living in such an untamed land. For not only is the land difficult to work with, it must also be remembered that this is a less sophisticated time when telephones were still shared party lines and transport was often difficult. However, friendship is very much a vital commodity in this time when women were very often seen as superfluous to men.
The author writes well and allows the quiet pace of the story to unfold gradually. Time and place is captured perfectly and I really enjoyed the descriptions of wide open spaces and big skies. However, there is far more to the story than the splendour of the Australian outback, it is also about love and loss, heartbreak and romance, sadness and despair and running throughout like a silken thread is the strength of the ties that bind them all together.
Combining a love of books with the intricacies of female friendship is such a strong premise for a novel that it really couldn’t fail to entice me in from the very start.
About the Author
Sophie Green is an author and publisher who lives in Sydney. She has written several fiction and non-fiction books, some under other names. In her spare time she writes about country music on her blog, Jolene. She fell in love with the Northern Territory the first time she visited and subsequent visits inspired the story in The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club.
Twitter @sophiegreenauth @LittleBrownUK