Saturday, September 19, 2009
Book #5 - A Fortunate Life by A.B.Facey
This is an Australian classic. It's an autobiography written by Albert Facey, a man born in 1894 in Victoria who spent much of his life in Western Australia.
He had a remarkably hard life by our standards. He was sent out to work for a living at about age 8 - hard work looking after farms. He worked at various times as a drover, building the rabbit-proof fence, working on the railway hammering spikes on the rail line, farmer, dingo killer, and boxer! As a young man, he fought in World War I at Gallipoli in which two of his brothers were killed, and he was injured. He lived through the Great Depression. He married, and he and his wife had 7 kids, one of whom was killed in World War II.
He was completely self-educated, teaching himself to read & write. He started keeping notes on his life after WWI, and eventually published his book in 1981, just 9 months before he died.
The story is told very simply, as if he's telling a "yarn" in person, but the story itself is remarkable. You realise how much you yourself have "a fortunate life". It's a story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.