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An Alice Girl

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  18 reviews
An extraordinary story of growing up in the late 1960s and early 70s on an outback cattle property

Whether working the mobs of cattle with the stockmen, playing cattleduffing on horseback or singing and doing lessons at their School of the Air desks, Tanya Heaslip and her siblings led a childhood unimaginable to many Australians. Growing up on a vast and isolated cattle pro
Paperback, 344 pages
Published May 1st 2020 by Allen & Unwin AU
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Veronica ⭐️
An Alice Girl is the memoir of Tanya Heaslip’s life growing up on a remote cattle station just north of Alice Springs. The story includes her parents early life. Tanya’s memoir is a candid warts and all tale of growing up in this harsh land. Their triumphs and struggles.

Life was hard and filled with responsibility not only for the adults, the children were expected to work as well. Tanya tells of long days helping her father with the stock and the deep co
Tanya was the eldest of four children to Janice and Grant Heaslip; M’Lis, Brett and Benny, her siblings, and as they grew up, they were the best of mates, playing, rough-housing and getting into mischief as much as they could. Tanya loved her schooling through The School of the Air; her love of words, stories and everything connected started from a young age and didn’t stop. The only thing she wasn’t fond of – at all – was maths.

But it was when they were helping their father – the “Boss” – that
Graham Wilson
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good story, well told, though it does not quite live up to the high level set by the first book.

However it captures much of the Alice, its landscapes, smells, feel and characters and the life of central Australia very well. I knew Tanya's father, Grant a little and I am sure he thought of me as one of the 'bloody bureaucrats' sent to complicate his life. However Tanya tells well the complex character of the man, both the good hearted father and neighbour and the tough unrelenting other man.

Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Tanya's memoir about growing up in the Outback of Australia near Alice Springs on a cattle station. I'm looking forward to chatting with Tanya tomorrow for work about this book. ...more
Louise Sanders
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the time I was reading this book, we were driving from Adelaide to Darwin so Tanya's description of the harsh country came to life as we drove through it. I felt so connected to the book, reading whilst in the area. Loved it. ...more
Ian Smith
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
AN ALICE GIRL by Tanya Heaslip
Review by Ian Smith
I’ve reviewed Tanya’s previous entertaining book “From Prague to Alice” and thought this might fill in the “before” department. Having said that, it offers a whole new insight into Tanya’s life and why she put up with what she did in Czechoslovakia.
Life in the outback can be harsh and unforgiving and when her parents decided to run stock on stations out of Alice it was no surprise to find life a constant, but calculated, struggle. It expanded f
Bree T
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an upbringing this was, for a girl from the burbs who has never really been to the outback!

This year, my husband and I had planned a trip to Uluru. I had always wanted to go and I thought that once they banned climbing it, it would be a perfect time. Photos without people traipsing all over it! However of course, we’ve had to postpone that trip – probably until July or so next year. When I was planning it, I learned that Alice Springs isn’t actually as close to it as I thought, in fact it’s
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘I stood gazing at the spines of stories, tentatively opening the cover, smelling the beautiful musty pages, and I knew in that moment that words would always have the power to transport me to other worlds.’

I’m sure many of you have come across this question ‘why do you love to read so much?’ For me the simplest answer is that I read to feel and to be transported to another time and place.

Tanya Heaslip’s memoir An Alice Girl certainly did this for me and it blew me away as rural nonfiction is no
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ms Heaslip's 2nd memoir covers her early years until age 12. She paints a glorious and wondrous picture of her childhood world - of the joys and hardships of growing up on a station several hours drive out of Alice Springs in central Australia. She had a freedom that most children, or adults for that matter, rarely have, being able to play outdoors, ride horses and read to her heart's content. She played hard and worked hard helping her Mom and Dad on the large property as the oldest child with ...more
Sharon J
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An Alice Girl is a beautifully written memoir by Australian author, Tanya Heaslip. It is about her growing up with loving parents, Janet and Grant Heaslip and siblings M’Lis, Brett and Benny on an outback cattle property north of Alice Springs during 1960s and 1970s.

Thank you to Tanya Heaslip for sharing this - she bought me into her life and with her I followed her experiencing a “roller-coaster of emotions” was a hard, tough life with sadness but there was joy and fun. Her mother was lo
Judith Deane-Freeman
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can thoroughly recommend An Alice Girl by Tanya Heaslip. It is a memoir of growing up on a cattle station in central Australia in the 60's - 70's and beautifully portrays the innocence of childhood set against a backdrop of tough bush people, horse riding, cattle mustering, heat dust and flies. Imbued with a love of the harsh environment and a sense of place, it is also a celebration of family, siblings, tough love and friendship. The young kids in the book face challenges unheard of by city k ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I spent time on big farms and cattle stations as a kid so can relate to a lot. I'm the next generation from Tanya though and as she notes in the end comments, the expectation on kids to help was different and certainly although some physical punishment remained, not to the extent in the book. I think kids learn a lot from helping on the farm but the expectations were too much in this case. The physical punishment made me very uncomfortable and hitting or smacking kids is just not OK. I'm glad Ta ...more
Angela Berney
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanya Heaslip for Onkaparinga Libraries first online Author event. Tanya is launching her new book “An Alice Girl” and although I don’t usually read biographies I thoroughly enjoyed her memoir of Alice Springs during the 60s and 70s. Tanya's childhood experiences growing up in the country were so different from my own city upbringing and I feel she has many more tales to share with us. ...more
Carolyn Forte
A riveting story about growing up in the bush

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Written as a series of anecdotes following her life on a busy cattle property near Alice Springs, Tania Heaslip takes us on a journey into her world. Tough and demanding way beyond what most of us have experienced, her life is nevertheless drawn with live and compassion, warmth and humour. I highly recommend this book!
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: echuca-library
An enjoyable story from the perspective of a young child growing up on a station out of Alice Springs. Alice is a favourite destination so I found it interesting to read about the difficulties as well as the joys of being brought up in such a remote area. An easy, entertaining read.
Jessica Hayes
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A collection of beautiful, relatable stories for a country kid to enjoy particularly loving the land and the grief of leaving your home for the unknown of boarding school. The book does meander a bit though and there’s some repetitive parts.
Ann Koenig
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was too repetitive - but I quite enjoyed it.
Fiona Dorrell
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In case you were enamoured with the descriptions of an outback, horseback childhood described in the opening chapters of her debut memoir, Alice to Prague, Alice Springs author, Tanya Heaslip returns with her second heart-warming memoir, An Alice Girl.

Heaslip describes a childhood as exotic and unimaginable to most Australians as Prague. Raised by her entrepreneurial, pragmatic, and firm-patriarch of a father, Grant, and her tough, tireless, and endlessly loving mother, Janice, the book recount
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