Don Watson use to be Paul Keating’s speech writer which probably makes you wonder how he could write in-depth about the bush. He did however grow up in the bush and apparently he did a far bit of research for this work which is more episodic revelation than linear narrative.
The work is touted as one that doesn’t romanticise the bush, nor decry it. Instead Watson probes our legends, including the place of the white farmer in history and the effects on Australia’s original inhabitants. In all he suggests that the bush as many of us know it is fast disappearing. I’d hazard to say that not everyone living and working in rural Australia would agree, but its true that there is far more to outback Australia than myths and legends. I would suggest that the bush is continually changing and reinventing itself, but that’s just my opinion.
The lovely Maggie Mackellar wrote the memoir When It Rains, a heartfelt story about grief and change. In How To Get There she opens the door on her brief life in Tasmania. In 2011 she moved from her family’s farm in Central West New South Wales to the east coast of Tasmania with her children and assorted menagerie to live with a farmer, who had contacted her after the release of her first memoir.
In the book she explores learning to love again after living through grief, and the complexities of doing this in a community with which she is unfamiliar, with two young children.
If you enjoyed Maggie’s first memoir, you won’t be disappointed with her latest offering.