Put Your Feet in the Dirt, Girl

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       June 10, 2023


Author  Sonia Henry

Distributor:      Allen and Unwin
ISBN:                 9781761068072
Publisher:         Allen and Unwin
Release Date:   June 2023  

Website:    https://www.allenandunwin.com 

There are several strands to Put Your Feet in the Dirt, Girl. There is the journey we take with Doctor Sonia as she travels from Sydney to outback regions and searches for her own identity. There is also what she observes in the current Political and Social aspects of marginalized towns. This is current, unbiased and relevant information that all citizens of Australian cities should read.

Sonia survived the tough years of being a medical student and studying. Along the way, she became friendly with a heart surgeon who as it later turned out was happily married. As their affair had lasted a few years she was heartbroken.

Moving on with her life, she signed up for a short stay in the Pilbara, working in the medical clinic there. When she arrived, she said,” I have the sensation that I am seeing the beginning of time itself.”  The author’s descriptions are superb. She has such a love of the beauty of the land and the people. The issues and problems she faced, make a lasting impact on the reader.

Henry travelled to many other outback places: Broome, Kununurra and north of Alice Springs. She has wonderful stories to tell about her patients and fellow workers. She experienced so much kindness and generosity from the people there who will remain in her life for many years. The Aboriginal plight is very much to the fore of her thinking as she encountered terrible bias and prejudices relating to these First Nation people.

As we become familiar with the complex person Sonia Henry is, we also become educated in many ways. Her descriptions of Broome, while she is standing on Cable Beach, are truly relatable. Her compassion for the ill treatment she sees, and her efforts to raise awareness of this, are laudable.