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Hippy Days, Arabian Nights

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Spanning five decades and as many continents, 'Hippy Days, Arabian Nights' is a funny, moving and compelling story of a woman whose extraordinary life will never be summarised by the words 'could have', 'might have', or 'should have'. Whether it's following her dreams pursuing what she believes in, or chasing matters of the heart, from the outset, Australian artist ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Wild Dingo Press
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This was a memoir of two halves, literally written in two parts. The first half covered the first marriage of Australian artist Katherine Boland, including a number of flashbacks or sidetracks into her childhood, through to her 40s. Then the second half - commencing at the 51% mark on my Kindle - covered the next 5 years during which she was having a largely long-distance relationship with an Egyptian man. To be honest I wasn't really satisfied with either part.

The timespan in the first half
Emma Kathryn
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is by turns funny, poignant, moving and jaw-dropping. An English girl travels to Australia and settles with her family in country Victoria, then finds herself back in England, then in Spain, then in Australia again, as a teenager. As an adult she lives a brave lifestyle with her husband as they prove themselves to be very resourceful hippies! A vivid portrait is painted of the hippy community on the southern NSW coast as Boland and husband John build their house, start a family, live ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating account of a contemporary woman; a baby-boomer up for adventure, and in the right places at the right times to experience so much of what was available to that generation. Hilarious accounts of dropping out in search of an 'alternative lifestyle' in the 1970s/80s and dropping back in again in the sobering early 2000s. Times of enormous universal social change told from the viewpoint of one brave resilient post-modern citizen of the planet. Katherine's writing has the ability to ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hilarious. A bit shocking in parts - I wouldn't recommend some of the behaviour in this book as being a safe way to lead one's life, though. The hippy culture had a lot of flaws, and this book is not scared to show them up, albeit in an amusing way. A bit unputdownable for a holiday read. Well done.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice little read. Great insight into the hippy culture of the late 70s early 80s and also into a cross cultural relationship with an Egyptian man. Easy to read and well written.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of this memoir where Boland recounts episodes from her childhood and her experiences living self sufficiently on the NSW South Coast.

The second half, about Boland’s May - December romance with a young Egyptian was far less appealing.
Gabrielle Kelly
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The front half of this book was rather interesting; the latter, however, was too full of relationship blah blah for me.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Memoirs are tricky things to evaluate, since in the words of Ava Gardener, "I remember it the way I choose to remember it." You only get one side of the story, one person's version of events, and they can suppress or exaggerate whatever they see fit. This book is no exception to that rule.

Boland's parents, we are told, drifted back and forth from England to Australia to Spain and back again; her father chose to jettison the career he studied for in favour of photography, at which he was less
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a memoir which skates lightly over five decades of the life of Katherine Boland, an Australian artist. It’s interesting, although I didn’t find it compelling.

One of the significant plusses of this memoir is that although Boland is not a high profile celebrity, she’s led an interesting and varied life that will surprise and engage many readers. As a child, her parents moved her back and forth between England and Australia. As a young mother, she was a committed hippy deep in the
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hippy Days, Arabian nights is a memoir written by Katherine Boland. I don’t typically read memoirs, but this book definitely has me reconsidering the genre. Katherine’s book begins when she’s a young college student in the 70’s. Everything about her is very natural, artsy, (“hippy”). I could envision her wearing boho clothing, growing her own food, and being very laid back. The first half of the book goes into great detail about her relationship with her boyfriend John. It describes some amazing ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betty Banfield
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kathy has written a captivating memoir.
It was a wonderful read with lots of nostalgic moments from her early years in East Gippsland.
Part two....the love you shared with Gamal and the struggles you faced left feeling deeply for you both.
Jenny Esots
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
An Aussie memoir of a hippy/greenie turned artist.
Someone of a similar vintage to myself, but with a vastly different journey.
Somehow I was not as entranced by the Arabian nights.
I was engaged from the first page.
Hoping the author is open to more writing.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this in a single sitting. You can tell Katherine is a visual artist, as her descriptive scenes and settings add so much texture and background to the stories and memories. It is both light and intense with an honesty and openness that was refreshing.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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