Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Everyone has a story. Some are better than others at telling them. Some get written down and even get published. When a well-told story comes along, one that resonates, it is a pure joy!

This book, A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey, was sent to a friend of ours from her sister in Australia. It is in the form of 10 CDs and is read by an Australian, Roger Cardwell. It is absolutely outstanding both in content and delivery! (The book is available on Amazon; I see from the web that it is describe as an autobiographical novel.)

Set in Australia it is the story of an "ordinary" man's life mainly in the early days of settlement in Western Australia (early 1900s). Born in 1895 he lived a long life, and a very hard life. Late in his life his family encouraged him to put his stories down on paper. Then with some work, it was put together as a book.

He was born in 1894 and died 9 months after the book was published in 1981. He was a person who simply got on with life despite difficult times or situations. Working on the land, clearing sites for settlement, working on farms, he never had any schooling. Eventually, when he was in his early 20s, some Scottish settlers he met gave him help to learn to read and write (by lending him books).

However, what really interested me was that his story is not dissimilar to many people who lived in Western Canada at that time. They faced hard times as they arrived in a land where they had to establish a place to live, get work and get through the winter.

My father (born 1919) left school at 14 to help with the farm work. In these small communities away from the big cities people spent their lives clearing land, building houses, getting crops and farms established. In my father's case it was an orchard farm.

This book also highlighted how tough it was for women - getting water, dealing with accidents and illness, feeding families in the Depression. Yet they made a life for themselves ... and felt very fortunate that they were able to do so!


Vagabonde said...

I finished reading all the posts I missed on your blog. It must feel good to be in your new house – I cannot imagine moving from our house which is so full of everything – books mostly. I am sorry about your adopted grandma – it is always hard to lose someone dear to us. I have read about the Millau bridge and have seen pictures – I’d love to cross it. Too bad about the volcano – I hope it won’t keep throwing up ash this summer as we are planning a trip. Congratulations on your blog being 3 years old, that is quite an achievement. You know yours is the first blog I ever read, even before I started my own blog. Was it also your birthday? Yesterday would have been my mother’s 100th birthday as she was born on 12 May 1910. I was going to make a post on her but because of our trips, reading all the posts I missed, I would have been hurried, so I shall write one for French Mother’s Day which is on 30th May. A Fortunate Life sounds like an interesting book to read. I just finished “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” by Kate Atkinson. It was recommended by one of the blogs I read. It was nice – a change for me as I usually read non-fiction apart from some mysteries once in a while. We enjoyed Baltimore more than we thought. My daughter and son-in-law had won a scholarship to take a one-week conference on pain management for physicians and wished to take their 2 toddlers with them, so we went to babysit the grandchildren, 1 ½ and 3 years old boys. We refused to rent a car since the hotel was close to the harbor and we walked all over Baltimore pushing the stroller. The weather was nice the all time. I’d love to go back with my husband for a long week-end and be able to go into the museums as we only went to the railroad museum. Well this is getting too long. I’ll try to come back sooner. By the way we were married on Saturday 17 June 1967 in San Francisco and on Sunday went to see Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janice Joplin, etc at the Monterey Pop Festival as a honeymoon. (

Vagabonde said...

I wrote a long comment but I do not think it took - this is a test.