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Release day: The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Bookclub

8 August 2017

Today is the official release of The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Bookclub by Sophie Green (paperback and ebook, Hachette Australia). Here’s the blurb:

Books bring them together – but friendship will transform all of their lives. Five very different women come together in the Northern Territory of the 1970s by an exceptional new Australian author.

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.

Sophie dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

If I try to distil all of my work to its essence, I’d say that words are at the heart of it. And my love of words—and of the stories that they create—started with one very important person: my mother. It was my mother who taught me to read. She gave me my first books. One of these was The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I read it when I was far younger than the target audience, and I didn’t understand some of it, but the parts I did understand stay with me still. In that book was a grand Australian story. There was landscape, there was drama, there was a heroine. It wasn’t like any other Australian book I’d read, and it gave me the sense that amidst all the books from the northern hemisphere that fill school curricula and best-of lists, there were stories for us, written by us. Writing The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club gave me an even bigger opportunity to bring together all my thinking about Australian stories and storytelling, about my love of country music, about the audience it appeals to, and about how we write for it. The novel has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and also one of the most rewarding, and the key to it all can be found in the first book my Fairvale ladies read: The Thorn Birds.

You can find out more about this book at Sophie’s website or buy it from Hachette.

The publisher has three copies to give away to ARRA members. To go in the draw to win, simply comment on this post. (The giveaway closed on 22 August. Winners were Lyn W, Malvina Y & Veronica J)


  1. 11 August 2017 6:17 pm

    What a wonderful combination, the 70’s and books. I’m looking forward to reading Sophie’s novel.

  2. Malvina permalink
    8 August 2017 10:22 am

    This looks amazing, and such fun. I’ve been in a book club since 1985, with some of the same members. Love books about book clubs, they are marvellous, and I look forward to this one. Congratulations on your release!

  3. Lynette williams permalink
    8 August 2017 10:06 am

    Congratulations on the release a book i look forward to reading Lyn W

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