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Growing Pineapples in the Outback

Allowing one’s parents to remain in the family home is the desired objective of many children, however this often isn’t possible and if it is, it generally requires great sacrifice and dedication. Rebecca Lister and Tony Kelly made the decision to leave Melbourne and move to Rebecca’s birth place Mt Isa, to care for her partially blind, aging mother; 92 year old Diana. Making the move to Mt Isa, allowed the authors not only to ensure Diana’s safety but also to enliven her life by reviving her interest in activities and the community in general.  Their jointly written, beautifully crafted memoir gives the reader an insight into the resultant rewards, challenges and day to day experiences.

Returning to her family home to spend precious time with her witty, feisty and determined mother, Rebecca is not only able to explore her formative years but also to obtain a greater understanding and appreciation of this loveable but frustrating woman. Despite experiencing a life of sadness and tragedy, Dianna nevertheless maintained her fight and sense of the ridiculous. Tony on the other hand builds a close relationship with his mother-in-law, while at the same time experiencing the trials and benefits of outback living and its idiosyncrasies.

Written with humour and understanding, this book is funny, poignant and filled with not only love but also respect for a caring, gentle woman in her twilight years.  By writing the chapters alternately, the authors give the reader a different perspective on the same events.

I highly recommend this loving account of family and place to not only readers who are/have been careers, but also to those who enjoy reading about individuals who have made a ‘sea change’.

Author Tony Kelly and Rebecca Lister.
Publisher UQP
ISBN 9780702254123
Distributor UQP
Released June 2020