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The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club - Sophie Green

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Paperback Published: 8th August 2017
ISBN: 9780733636561
Number Of Pages: 432

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In 1978 the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard and people are isolated. But they find ways to connect.

Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe's designated successor but he has left the Territory - for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother's place. But that doesn't stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child.

With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben's English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.

Mother-of-three Sallyanne is invited to join them. Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town of Katherine where she lives with her difficult husband, Mick.

Completing the group is Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land.

If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Thorn Birds you will devour this story of five different women united by one need: to overcome the vast distances of Australia's Top End with friendship, tears, laughter, books and love.

About the Author

Sophie Green is an author and publisher who lives in Sydney. She has written several fiction and non-fiction books, some under other names. In her spare time she writes about country music on her blog, Jolene. She fell in love with the Northern Territory the first time she visited and subsequent visits inspired the story in The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club.


I l9ved this book


Loved this book and this author writes many more.



Highly enjoyable


I felt connected to the characters early in the book and enjoy their different backgrounds, how they interacted with each other and then surprise at the end.

Launceston, Tasmania


I loved this book


Loved this book ans was very disappointed when it ended as had become so engrossed I wished it would keep going.

Toowoomba Qld


Loved every page!


Well I absolutely loved every page of The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club. I have never read a Sophie Green book before but I was impressed how well she tricked me! I thought I was just getting a book about a bunch of women coming together to talk about books – not a book that would transport me back to the early 70's in a rural setting in the Northern Territory where women were dealing with loneliness, depression, drought and flood! I loved each and every character that came together first in the book club, and then great, resourceful friends that helped each other through so many things. This was a fantastic read, beautiful outback Australian setting and wonderful characters. Highly recommend….

Willow Tree


a heart-warming read


The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club is a novel by Australian author and publisher, Sophie Green. It may be twenty-six years but Sydney ex-nurse, Sybil Baxter hasn't forgotten the culture shock and the sense of dislocation she felt when Joe Baxter first brought her to Fairvale Station near Katherine in the Northern Territory. And now her youngest son, Ben has brought his English bride, Kate to live here. To allay her some of this London girl's loneliness, Sybil decides to gather together some women to form a book club, combining companionship with culture. The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club takes place on Sunday, June 25th, 1978. Sybil has invited her oldest and best friend, Rita who nurses for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Felicity Major, Sybil's next-door neighbour at Ghost River Station declined the invitation, but suggested their female stockman, a young Texan woman named Della, as an avid reader. Sallyanne Morris is a nervous young mother of three whom Sybil met at a recent Country Women's Association meeting, and she becomes the fifth Lady in the Club. Each of these five main characters has an issue with which they are dealing, although for some, this changes as the story progresses over three years. Della has to handle chauvinist attitudes in her predominantly male job; Kate tries to be of use in her strange new world while attempting to fall pregnant; Sybil yearns for her eldest son, intentionally missing and rebuffing all contact with his family; Rita, at peace with a life on her own, suddenly faces the possibility of late-in-life love; and Sallyanne tries to be the best mother she can while her alcoholic husband is verbally and psychologically abusive. Green easily conveys the late seventies and a delightful touch that fixes the story categorically in that era is the summary, at the change of each year, of the coming year's news events and current affairs. Her settings, too, are well portrayed, with descriptive



Dreaming of the Territory


Just a delightful read, had me dreaming of living on a station in the Territory. In a time when things were just simpler

Adelaide, South Australia


The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

4.7 6


This close-knit Australian saga has rightly earned comparisons to THE THORN BIRDS. Green draws out a robust range of emotions as each character struggles with her own set of frustrations and her personal relationship with a tough landscape that's still being tamed. - iBOOKS EDITOR

The book club's reading list will remind readers of the power that contemporary fiction can have in people's lives. - Books+Publishing

Sophie Green has created a world that's as heartwarming, fulfilling and Australian as a lamb roast and full-bodied shiraz. - Australian Women's Weekly

an absolute gem of a novel, with the most evocative sense of place . . . A definite treat for any book club. - BETTER READING

A plucky group of women gather together to help each other through the tough times . . . This touching tale set in a familiar landscape is an ode to [the author's] love of the place and its people. - Sunday Territorian

provides vivid descriptions of both the triumphs and hardships of life in the outback so readers can empathise with all the joys and heartaches experienced by each one. - Starts at Sixty

ISBN: 9780733636561
ISBN-10: 073363656X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 8th August 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.0  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1