Charlottes Creek 

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       August 8, 2014

 

Author  Therese Creed

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781743319178
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.allenandunwin.com 

This is a wonderfully authentic story of the Australian outback. I was not surprized to learn that the author had experienced much of the area she writes about first hand Indeed , the naming of the plants, trees, animals and lagoons brings a great degree of authenticity to an interesting story. The characters also seem very true-to-life.

Lucia Francis (Lucy), comes from a loving Sydney family. Her father is a doctor, her mother a homemaker, both devoted parents. Lucy trains as a teacher and wins a job at a prestigious Sydney school. She is appalled by the arrogance of the parents and demands of the senior staff. Being chastized for wearing jeans on an excursion with the children is the last straw for Lucy and she applies for a position of governess to children who live on an outback station.

The story begins with Lucy being met by a ringer, who is to convey her to the cattle station. He is quite unfriendly and unwelcoming and it’s here that you begin to understand Lucy’s determination to accept things the way she finds them and to do her best to change the things that she is able. She is not at all fazed by the children’s language, mannerisms or habits, realizing that they are a product of their environment, but decent children.

Lucy has her own little cottage and gradually settles into a routine, engaging the children with interesting teaching strategies and becoming part of the homestead routine.

 Over time, Lucy learns to ride a horse and contribute to  the farming side of the station, with Ted, the ringer, teaching her many different skills. Sometimes these are basic to outback life – shooting an injured animal or pushing back the prolapsed uterus of a cow and stitching it in place. This is just another day on a cattle station.

The characters in this story are realistic and interesting. The mother of the children is so worn down and without hope that she is seldom able to be pleasant to anyone. Her husband and family own the station and he has been running it for years, but now his parents want to sell up and divide the proceeds amongst their children. He will lose everything that he and his wife have worked for; apparently, not an uncommon story in the outback.

Lucy absorbs all of this life, occasionally returning home to Sydney for a holiday but always yearning to return to the land and the lifestyle.

This is an educational story with depth and honesty – a very Australian read.