The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green is a story that grew on me the more I read. In fact I didn’t realise the powerful effect it had on me …
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1023 KB
Print Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Sphere (1 Mar. 2018)
Available to purchase in digital, paperback and audio formats.
In 1978 in Australia’s Northern Territory, life is hard and people are isolated. Telephones are not yet a common fixture. But five women find a way to connect.
Sybil, the matriarch of Fairvale Station, misses her eldest son and is looking for a distraction, while 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 starts a book club. As these five women bond over their love of books, they form friendships that will last a lifetime.
Books bring them together – but friendship will transform all of their lives. Perfect for lovers of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Little Paris Bookshop.
When our five ladies are first introduced to us I have to admit I was more interested in how it was possible to live within the confines and limitations of the ‘seasons’ – never being able to control the environment but adapting to life in the harsh and raw landscape and the isolation the Northern Territory brings. I was interested in the displacement of the Aborigine tribes and what that meant for them. However, page after page I came to love Sybil, Rita, Sally-Anne, Della and Kate which of course meant that I was totally invested in them and felt their every emotion alongside them. There were times when I was crying and I didn’t even realise I was …
I really enjoyed being a part of their everyday lives. Sybil’s relationship with her eldest son had me messaging my eldest one morning (his response, “why are you thinking like this?” – ummm, it’s the book I’m reading and the effect it has on me …). All five ladies experience life changing circumstances and the bond that’s grown is a lifeline to ride that change. Sybil and Rita guide the younger Sally-Anne, Della and Kate on a subtle level but find it difficult to accept help when they need it. I loved the bond between Sybil and Rita, friends since they were 17 they accept each other for who they are and know exactly what each other needs.
Sophie Green has written an awesome story that is relatable for any age group. I didn’t want this story to end and would happily spend time in this world each day. However, our character’s stories don’t end. There are no loose ends all nicely tied up (just as in real life!) and for me it echoes Fairvale itself – never staying still, always in motion. One not to miss!
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