Saturday, 5 May 2012

A review of 'Foal's Bread' by Gillian Mears

Well, here I am months and months after I should have reviewed this amazing book.
Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes and it has been a long haul but I'm finally here on the page!

Allen & Unwin kindly sent me 'Foal's Bread' to review and I highly recommend it.

This book, to be frank, is at a times a harrowing read.But that is not all it is and it has some outstandingly lovely passages as it follows the story of Noey and Roley who travel on the country high-jumping ciruit during the great depression. A story of hopes and dreams, both found and lost, this book is both a tender account of love and a gritty realistic portrayal of life in the bush and on the land. 
Beautifully written, Gillian Mears has created an Australian classic and it reminded me a lot of that other bush classic, A Fortunate Life. A window into life in a more simple time with all it's goodness yet harshness due to the depression.
As I've mentioned reading 'Foal's Bread' can be disquieting at times, due to it's excrutiating honesty when dealing with illness suffered by one of the characters, in particular. Having said that, please do not be put off reading it!It is a great book for everyone, especially horse lovers with many moving descriptions of the bond that can exist between humans and horses. Painting a realistic portrait of fallible individuals with their own personal battles,losses and triumphs, it is a very fine piece of Australian writing.

I can't recommend 'Foal's Bread' highly enough for it's exquisite passages of wonder juxtaposed with the gritty reality of the dark depths of humanity. A stunning book.

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