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This Place You Know

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it was amazing 5.00  ·  Rating details ·  4 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Hay, New South Wales, 1923. Martha, a classics scholar from the coast, comes to teach in a man's town in the outback. She falls in love with Henry, a local man, and they find their dream place on the river where they raise a family and breed a flock of sheep with fine wool. The unforgiving climate erodes their dreams. When Henry leaves, Martha takes on the outside work and ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published June 7th 2019 by Ginninderra Press
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it was amazing 5.00  · 
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Nicola-Jane
An exquisite love letter to the outback landscape of rural News South Wales. When Anna’s father abandons family and farm, she and her mother are left to fend for themselves on a piece of land by the river, mired in debt and his longtime neglect. Undaunted, her mother, Martha, manages to keep the farm going with the help of her young daughter.

It is a lonely upbringing for Anna, whose four siblings have gone away to boarding school and college. But Anna, like her mother, has a special relationshi
...more
Maureen Helen
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a poignant story, beautifully written. A young classics scholar, Martha, leaves her family to take up a teaching post in Hay in New South Wales. She falls in love with a local man, Henry. They marry, begin life together on a property and begin a family. Poverty, excessive summer heat and the Great Depression take their toll on the couple. The fear of yet another pregnancy adds to their difficulties.

The story is about some of the many facets of love: the love of a man and woman; love of f
...more
Rob Olver
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"This Place You Know" is a complex and emotional book about the love of place and the love between people. It is also about the problems that families face. Martha, a classics scholar and teacher from the city, falls in love with an outback farmer, Henry, and they start a life on the land with a small leasehold on the Murrumbidgee river, near Hay in south west New South Wales. Unfortunately the odds are stacked against them, with relentless drought and the Great Depression of the 1930's. They so ...more
Elisabeth Hanscombe
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Christina Houen’s memoir, This place You know, is a haunting evocation of two women’s struggles to survive in the Australian ‘outback’ on the plains of Hay in the Western Riverina. The ‘fatal inevitability’ of Martha’s marriage to Henry takes us through a story of two marriages, her own and ultimately that of her daughter, Anne. The book offers a deep and abiding sense of what it is like to live on the land during the mid 1900s. The daily domesticity of life on a farm and Martha’s determined eff
...more
Leanne Margaret
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Jean Menzies
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'This Place You Know', Christina Houen’s memoir of an Australian childhood in the outback, began its gestation in 1959. Between several major revisions, it lay for long spells in her bottom drawer. In 2017, the story was resurrected when Christina decided to begin with her mother’s first-person narrative (as ‘Martha’).

Martha’s story is an imaginative reconstruction based on handwritten memoirs an
...more