Lissa Notreallywolf's Reviews > The Road from Coorain

The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
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's review
Oct 14, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography

I loved this book because of the writing, and since I didn't read the jacket, I had no idea who the author was at first. I was reading it in the same way I read My Brilliant Career, to which it has been compared. Aside from the setting in Australia, I found a resonance between the two books, which aside from the setting are both about intelligent women in a society which does not approve of that combination. Another thing that struck me was how the author's perspective on her mother shifts-in the beginning she is the competent heroine of her childhood, but something goes far astray when they are forced to leave the sheep ranch where Jill was raised. It is clear from the writing that Jill is growing up and way from her mother as her mother's life goes retrograde, but the way handles this double motion is incredibly precise and feels truthful. Halfway through the book I found myself with an intellectual crush as the author recounts her educational experiences and their frustration or fruition in University. I began to realize that I was reading someone's who's passions about history, class, feminism closely parallel my own preoccupations, and that's when I sneaked a peek at who the author was. There were parts I couldn't relate to things she was socialized to in Australia around the time I was born that are not part of my experience, but again it was the precision which she describes the process of listening to someone tell you something you know more about when they do with an interested expression on your face. No wonder she flourished in academia. I finished the book with the same relish after the cat was out of the bag, so to speak.
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