The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Written by Sophie Green


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Warm-hearted, comforting and richly told, this Australian bestseller is the perfect feel-good read for book lovers everywhere.

In 1978 in Australia’s Northern Territory, life is hard and people are isolated. Telephones are not yet a common fixture. But five women find a way to connect.

Sybil, the matriarch of Fairvale Station, misses her eldest son and is looking for a distraction, while Kate, Sybil’s daughter-in-law, is thousands of miles away from home and finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale.

Sallyanne, mother of three, dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town where she lives with her difficult husband.

Rita, Sybil’s oldest friend, is living far away in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

And Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land, needs some purpose in her life.

Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship: they all love to read, and she starts a book club. As these five women bond over their love of books, they form friendships that will last a lifetime.




Absorbing and Delightful!   225

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club is not a book to be rushed through; rather it’s to be savoured and enjoyed, pondered over and slept upon. It’s about so much more than a book club – or even the ladies – come to that; it is a book showing more kindness between it’s pages than any I have read before.

Life in the Northern Territory is hard. With two seasons, dry and wet, both of which bring joys and hardships. Work is a seven days a week job. Clothes are worn for comfort rather than style and women don’t have a lot of leisure time for hobbies except the necessary ones of cooking, baking and looking after others. So when Kate arrives at Fairvale Station, newly wed to Ben and with no-one else of her age around, mother-in-law Sybil sees an opportunity for a get together, principally for friendship but under the guise of a book club.

So five women, of very differing backgrounds and with incomparable lifestyles meet to discuss their chosen novel – and so much more. Slowly we begin to learn all about their lives, their families, their hopes, dreams and realities. We immerse ourselves in the Northern Territory and everything that goes with it and we learn about a completely different kind of life which those of us in the UK can only imagine. These women live in a tough, harsh environment but manage to keep their soft and caring side, and this is a wonderful, insightful read into life on the other side of the world and the unexpected beauty to be found there.

Time moves on in this book. I loved the lists of world events which demonstrated this perfectly. The life of each woman moved on – and not always in the way I expected, but always in a way that was right for the story. And it’s absorbing and delightful, and not a book to be missed. If you enjoy a family saga / friendship based novel, then I would say this is one for you.

My thanks to publishers Sphere for approving my requested copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.


Tags: family saga, friendship



  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1023.0 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere
  • Publication Date: 1 March 2018
  • Link to Buy:



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There is no author information available.





2 thoughts on “The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

  1. This sounds wonderful! I recently heard of another book set on a crossroads in the outback, also featuring 4 women. I am sure it had ‘Granny’ in the title, but I lost the scrap of paper I wrote it down on. Any ideas?


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