by Kit Darling

At our November meeting we discussed The Road From Coorain by Jill Ker Conway. Conway’s “road”  led from an isolated sheep farm in Australia to Harvard University and eventually the presidency of Smith College. Members talked about her descriptions of the Australian grasslands that brought the landscape to life. Others commented on the similarities between the settlement of fragile grasslands by Australian sheep/cattle farmers and the wheat and cattle farmers of the midwest and prairies of North America – and how these both led to extreme droughts and loss of soil.

Other comments focussed on the role of women and the expectations of the time that women would not work outside the home after marriage and that a woman’s academic success was not valued the same as a man’s.

And here is a recommended read available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:30) and Thursday (6:00 to 8:00) or go online at to reserve a copy.

The Clouds Beneath the Sun by Mackenzie Ford. A satisfying mix of historical fiction, dramatic tension and doomed love, the story takes place in Kenya in 1961, against a background of political upheaval. At an archaeological dig in Masai territory, the drive for scientific discovery and knowledge balanced against tribal traditions and values. Well reviewed and a recommended read. Kit

Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at .