The Amazing Alice
Remember how I said that last week I had my life taken over by two books. One was the lovely Fleur McDonald novel Silver Clouds, which we had so much fun giving away a couple of days ago.
This book. Educating Alice.
By a woman who (like me) also straddles that often-uncomfortable fence that lies between city and country, whom I met at a Melbourne Cup luncheon a few years ago, and whom I count as a friend.
Her name is Alice Greenup and she has shared her rollercoaster-ride from aimless Melbourne teenager to driven country success story in the pages of this wonderful book.
‘A footloose city slicker who couldn′t tell a bull from a cow was hardly the ideal candidate to answer an ad for a governess on a Mackay cattle station. But Alice Greenup was game for anything, until she was bowled over by a handsome young jackaroo with a devastating smile. It was the start of a whole new way of life as Alice gave up her city life to embrace the bush and all that came with it: horses, cattle, the obsession with rain – and the correct way to wear a hat.’
I really don’t know what I expected when I began reading this book. Maybe something dry, factual, familiar?
I have no doubt the story Alice shares is factual, but the way she weaves and tells her story – honestly, brutally, eloquently – is mesmerising.
People who live in rural Queensland will already know (or know of) Alice. She is a ‘goer’ – an achiever with an equally driven husband and three darling children*. She has won rural industry awards, has helped organise some of our largest industry events and is a ball of energy and fun.
(*Our Violet has had some lovely days romping with their Ruby at campdrafts and race days).
But it won’t matter if you have no idea ‘who’ she is.
The woman can WRITE. I adore this intro to the chapter dealing with a pivotal moment in her story is a terrible accident which almost killed her.
‘ …the day I got a physical kick in the head, and a cosmic kick up the arse.’ If THAT’s not a bush phrase worth keeping, I don’t know what is!
And I felt Rick’s agony through the ordeal … I swear to God I was there.
I won’t ruin the many wonderful facets of Alice’s story-to-now – suffice to say it touched me. And (I think) it touched many who have walked in her shoes (from city to country life) and many who yearn to. I read the thing in under 24 hours. It was un-put-downable.
I have to say though, when you read this review Alice, that it was your dedication that got me most.
Sally was Alice’s sister-in-law, Rick’s sister and my cousin Bee’s best friend. A very special person whom the world lost a couple of years ago. I think she would have been very proud of her city sister. *wipes tears*
Okay, back to Alice and her fabulous book. A parcel arrived last week, with THREE copies of ‘Educating Alice’ for me to share with you all.
And I tried to think what we could do to celebrate this wonderful generosity.
Now I normally do random draws for giveaways here… but this time I thought we might do something a little different.
For your chance to get your hands on Educating Alice, please head to comments and leave a question for Alice. I will ask Alice and Rick to choose their favourite three questions next
Tuesday Thursday* morning, and get Alice to do a guest post answering your questions too. (It might be about her life story, or about writing or her incredible balancing act…)
PS If you cannot wait to read this book – you can download it in e-form via this link or check out your local bookstore! (In Australia – not realeased in print internationally yet. Which is all the more reason you should enter this contest!).
ENTRIES NOW CLOSED!!!!
* giveaway extended!