Life was tough in nineteenth century Australia, especially in the bush and particularly for women. In The Good Woman of Renmark, author Darry Fraser has encapsulated the hardship of living and working on the Murray River and the disparity between men and women in terms of independence and rights. This story isn’t just a women’s rights treatise, however, but the story of a woman coming to understand herself as she faces unbelievable challenges.
Maggie O’Rourke is a strong woman, loyal to her friends and family and a hard worker but her fear of childbirth and her desire to be independent has cost her a relationship with Sam Elliott, the only man she’s ever loved. Mind you, it seems to have taken Maggie a long time to come to that realisation and as this story opens she’s on the verge of losing the man who means everything to her.
With the fear that she may have killed a man, the uncertainty of her future and the possibility of never again seeing her family Maggie faces one challenge after another, growing stronger as a person as she overcomes each hurdle. I couldn’t help but respect her and by the end of this story I had my fingers crossed for a good outcome, though that was no certainty, which kept me turning the pages.
Sam, meanwhile, has given up on ever making Maggie his own and while he has vowed to find her and bring her back to her family he’s decided that will be it for the relationship he’d hoped to forge with her. He too is a strong character and a man to respect. His dedication to the task, the brusque way he hides his feelings for Maggie and his confusion about her feelings for him make him both vulnerable and immensely likeable.
For a spectacular glimpse of Australian history wrapped up in a complex love story with plenty of twists and turns along the way you’d be hard pressed to find a better story to read than this one. I found it both entertaining and informational. It’s left me thinking and wanting to find out more about the country I live in. Highly recommended!
- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 6 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com.au Release Date: 18 November 2019
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B07TK26P8Y
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,630 in Audible (See Top 100 in Audible)