Monday, 16 April 2012

Book Review No 5: From Strength to Strength by Sara Henderson

I know this is quite an old book now, but I'd never actually read it. I came across it at my friend's house and after a quick browse I knew that I wanted to finish it. I actually read it pretty fast too (yay for holidays). I enjoy autobiographies, so it was good to get stuck into a classic Australian one.

Sara Henderson grew up in Sydney and had the potential to be a tennis champion in her teen years. However a serious car accident put a hold on that dream. While getting on with her life she met a much older, brash American business man named Charles who turned her world upside down. From Strength to Strength charts the course of their life together, first in The Phillipines (where they lived a relatively privileged life) then to the culture shock of the Australian Outback.
When Sara arrived there in the 1970s there was little more than a caravan on the vast property known as Bulloo River. She had to quickly learn how to survive in the harsh environment, as well as take care of two young girls and try to create some kind of home for them all. Over time and against great odds she managed to do that. There were many huge hurdles along the way - most troubling of these was Charles' continuing affairs. Then there was also his business dealings that took them to the edge (and over) on many occasions. It was obviously a very hard life, but also a rewarding one as Sara eventually found her feet after Charles' death and eventually put Bulloo River on the map as a huge cattle producing station.
Since this book was released, there have been several others which include details about Sara's troubled relationship with two of her daughters. I tried not to be too influenced by that, basing it purely on what I read in this volume. And in saying that I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It is well written in simple, easy to follow language and has a good flow to it. There is humour and sadness, as well as plenty of drama and action. It is certainly inspirational for anyone who is facing tough times in their life and just need some encouragement to keep on going.

Overall a really good read that demonstrates that great things can be accomplished if you try hard enough.

1 comment:

  1. Good review Lizzy, I read this book many years ago and it is still a really inspirational book to me. No matter what happened later I think Sara really did it tough during those first years in the middle of nowhere