Susan Duncan’s A Life on Pittwater – in a word, stunning

by |October 1, 2009

9781741666694-pittwaterI had a real treat last week. I managed to get a sneak peak at the Anthony Ong and Susan Duncan take on Pittwater, called appropriately, A Life on Pittwater.

This is the “little guide book” that Susan set out to write all those years ago, before it got waylaid, turning up instead as her eminently readable memoirs, Salvation Creek and The House at Salvation Creek.

I certainly came to the Salvation Creek books late (in fact I think I must be just about the last person in the world to have read them) but last weekend I completely fell under their spell. Susan is a great communicator and manages to tell her story in a way that it becomes an “every woman” story.

Well, her original little guide book as she refers to it, never did get written. What is about to hit the shelves (from November 1 but plenty of people are pre-ordering) is the very warm and vibrant A Life on Pittwater. This book is beautiful to look at, a treat to read, and an absolute celebration of community. While the topic is ostensibly about Pittwater, (and certainly this bush-meets-waterways gem on Sydney’s northern most tip is quite unique), I would feel it makes the most appropriate gift to anyone who wants to get a sense of what Australia can be at its best. And Anthony Ong’s photography completely captures the essence and spirit of Pittwater.

A nervous Susan had just got the thumbs up from her neighbours when we recorded this interview last week.

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  • Kathleen Darwent

    March 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Susan, I have just come back from Cocos/Keeling Islands and have had the joy of reading Salvation Creek. Where do I start. It was unbelievably touching and you expressed how I have felt through loss and fear and so many other emotions. You actually expressed how I felt through the book on many occasions!! It is hard to express how sorry I was to actually finish it and now that I am back from holiday I will go out and buy the House and the next etc. I just had to let you know. You definately have a gift of writing about how others think and feel. Thanks! 😉

    • Carey Munro

      June 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

      I agree, I am now reading Salvation Creek for the second time. It is deeply touching, almost impossible to put down and a reminder of how Australia used to be and maybe still is in some untouched parts of this country.

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