I loved this book, it is a humble book of great substance. The writers cool narrative voice makes it a positive and a feel good book despite the many adversities he encountered in his life accounted for in this book. After reading the book I will say that indeed the author had a very fortunate life but it had nothing to do with a fortunate upbringing, quite the opposite as he was born to a life of hardship in the blistering and ravaging outback Australia back in the settlers days. So it had nothing to do with being born to great wealth, achieving material success or attaining high position in society. It was his positive attitude, resilience, honesty and hardwork that kept him standing firm on the ground through all adversities that he had to endure in his life.
This is a book I feel that one must read when you need inspiration on how to turn the negatives into positive, or the times when we are feeling less greatful for things around us, or maybe if we need assuarance that indeed it is not that easy but its not that bad either. Also if you are contemplating starting a new life in the country side (or even if you are just visiting your relatives in the country) then you should consider reading this book as it will make your life there much more bearable and interesting.
I live in the country – sort of – here in Fiji, which is an added reason why I loved this book so much. During dinner times I would enthusiastically talk about all that I read in the book and suggest ways to improve how we look after the livestock and our crops. Also mainly the discussion is based on what is possible with honest hard work. We have a lot of farmers here in Fiji but just not many are working smart and thinking outside the box, like – ‘this is how it is now but then we can do something new, much more efficient and better’. Farmers here also accept their fate and sometimes just give up during hard times whereas farmers like Mr Facey always kept on renewing their efforts and moving forward. The man is a really talented one. Everything he did, he succeeded at. He turned straw into gold – metaphorically obviously – and that’s how his life was. Making the good out of the bad, keeping on moving forward.
The writing style. I don’t think it’s important to critically analyse the style of writing in a book too much. Nor can I do that because I am not a professional book critic and I never took English and Literature as a major in University. I feel that every writer has a unique style and when reading somebodys work, the first few chapters should be about trying to adapt ourselves to it, getting the hang of it – so we can just enjoy the ride comfortably. Reading a book is like going on this special adventure, the begining is often difficult and all about learning new things and adjusting. Within the journey it is life with all it’s strength, vigor and colour. The end of the adventure make us start realising, lessons and the feeling of that tangy ‘departure pangs.’ That’s how you know it’s a good book and we keep it in our memories. The great thing about a book is that you can always start the adventure over again.
This book is a classic memoir and it is the authors account of his entire life – an interesting life it was. It began with his father dying, his mother living for the city with his 2 older brothers for work. She only took with her the ones who could make money. She was a bit obsessed with money and abandoned the young ones including Mr Facey – who couldn’t earn money – with their grandparents. How can a person be so heartless and such a user as she was, and a mother too at that – I don’t know. She used her own children for gaining money. She was a lover of money, apparently that’s the only thing that mattered to her.
The grandparents nevertheless were great people. At an age where they should have been taking it slow, only taking care of each other, they had to take in their grandchildren and worry about putting food on the table for them. They didn’t complain though, they loved their grandchildren and did the best for them. They were a hardworking couple and obviously very resilient. Times was not easy and they had to do a lot of physical work and odd jobs to make ends meet. Life got harder, and grandfather dies, but life kept on moving forward with the strength of the great woman, his grandmother was. She was a good hearted woman and very strong. She represented all the great loving mother’s of the world who keep in forging forward, putting their loved ones first and creating a comfortable home.
They all moved to his Aunty’s (Mr Faceys Mothers sister) house which became home for the family permanently. During those days a lot of people were starting out life in Australia and incentives were given for people to work the land. People had to start from scratch, building a home, gathering livestock and planting crops. It was in the good old days of physical labour. Mr Facey from an early age had to work. He started living with other families as their ‘boy’ and had to work for them.
Living and working for other people was difficult – as is always the case. Mr Facey had a hard time in the begining and had some scarring experiences but it also built his character up. He was naturally a good, honest and hardworking person and that I believe sustained him all through out his adult life. He encountered bad people who were out to prey on his young inexperienced life but then there were also the good people and their act of kindness and generosity – really filled my heart with warmth. Mr Facey from a young age worked a lot of odd jobs and he consistently worked hard all through those jobs
I learned a lot interesting things, like outback life and it inspired me the level of orgnization and hardwork that was involved in building a life in the outback. I loved the story about droving – transporting 1000+ cattles from 1 corner of the country into the other – and how the whole thing is carried out.
I also learnt important lessons like how we should not tolerate being mistreated for so long. If we feel that something is wrong than indeed something is wrong. First strike, second strike, third strike and you leave. Don’t wait for when you are scarred for life and then you limp off to safety.
I also learnt about the interesting affair that was the war. Things other human beings had to put themselves through and how it didn’t make sense the whole thing, why did people have to go and die, fighting in a foreign country. So many productive and youthful life wasted in battle. It fascinated me the gallantry displayed by the soldiers, the bravery and the compassion that they extended to one another. I was born many years after this great wars and I grew up in a country sheltered from this human disasters so the war has always been a foreign concept to me. I associated the cruelty and horrific events that heroes endured to be only things that occurs in movies but not in real life. With this book I realized how very real it was and that it did happen and people had to go through such things and I have deep admiration and respect for them now after reading this book. I am even interested in learning more about the war, read books on how the war was like from other people who have been through it.
I really liked Mr Faceys general attitude towards life and I learnt that we should accept life in it’s full package, embracing all the challenges and problems that comes with it. A true measure of a person is how they push forth, hacking their way through all the adversaties of life. I also realized why one should never burn bridges but instead try to be kind to everybody because you never know when you might be in desperate need of the same person’s help and that person just might pull us out. As human being we are interconnected and very dependent on one another, so we need to humbly accept that and spread goodwill towards everyone.
Another very important lesson is that when you need something, you have to go out and actively look for it. Whether it is looking for a job, seeking inspiration for your latest project, looking for start up capital- whatever it is; seek and you shall find. That’s what Mr Facey did well in his life and that’s why he was fortunate because he went out and seeked a fortunate life.
I really liked this book and I am glad I stuck with reading it completely because it did add value to my life. I could go on and on about it. Every now and then I still make references to things I read in the book as my supporting fact or an interesting fact to note during discussions with my family and friends. I
t’s really bitter sweet having to end the book and I just realized how much I love reading. I am such an amateur in writing reviews and even reading but I keep in trying and so far it’s been so good.