Our Book-A-Like this week is all about outback living.
If you like a good Australian biography, then these two beauties are must-reads!
A Sunburnt Childhood by Toni Tapp Coutts:
Toni Tapp grew up on the massive Killarney Station, where her stepfather, Bill Tapp, was a cattle king. But there was no ‘big house’ here – Toni did not grow up in a large homestead. She lived in a shack that had no electricity and no running water. The oppressive climate of the Territory – either wet or dry – tested everyone. Fish were known to rain from the sky and sometimes good men drank too much and drowned trying to cross swollen rivers.
Toni grew up with the Aboriginal people who lived and worked on the station, and got into scrapes with her ever-increasing number of siblings. She loved where she grew up – she was happy on the land with her friends and family, observing the many characters who made up the community on Killarney. When she was sent to boarding school all she wanted to do was go back to the land she loved, despite the fact that her parents’ marriage was struggling as Bill Tapp succumbed to drink and June Tapp refused to go under with him.
Toni’s love of the natural world and of people alike has resulted in a tender portrait of a life that many people would consider tough. She brings vividly to the page a story seldom seen: a Territory childhood, with all its colour, characters and contradictions.
Diamonds and Dust by Sheryl McCorry:
Sheryl McCorry grew up in the outback carrying crocodiles to school for show and tell. When she was 18 her family moved to Broome, and it was the first time she’d ever used a telephone or seen a television.
A year later, only hours after being railroaded into marriage by a fast-talking Yank, Sheryl locked eyes with Bob McCorry, a drover and buffalo shooter. When her marriage ended after only a few months, they began a love affair that would last a lifetime and take them to the Kimberley’s harshest frontiers.
Sheryl became the only woman in a team of stockmen. She soon learned how to run rogue bulls and to outsmart the neighbours in the toughest game of all – mustering cattle. The playing field was a million acres of unfenced, unmarked boundaries.
Sheryl went on to become the first woman in the Kimberley to run two million-acre cattle stations, but her life was not without its share of tragedy. Her story is an epic saga of life in one of the toughest and most beautiful terrains in Australia – a story of hardship, drought, joy and triumph.