Each chapter of this book tells memories of members of a New Zealand farming family from a different point of time in the 20th Century. Some chapters are a combination of experiences from the same person and all give fascinating snapshots into a harsher way of life. Reading about May, a mother of two in her early twenties, having to saddle a reluctant horse while leaving her husband unconscious with influenza, her baby in the cot (the safest place) and carrying her toddler in her arms in order to seek medical help from a nearby town, the reader is sure to think that we are the fortunate ones.
The sentences are short and the language is simple but descriptive. There are also footnotes explaining old fashioned kiwi words and terms.
The expectations of children were different in the past but these memories also tell of everyday emotions that children will relate to. From the tamer tales of milking days to stories of toe shredding eels, I found this book a compelling read.
Title: The Fortunate Ones
Author: Phyllis Johnston
Illustrator: Cover Photo by John Hodgson
Publisher: The Phyllis Webby Trust
Date of Publication: 2019
Reviewer: Kirsten Puddick, Librarian, Holy Cross School, Miramar, Wellington
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: May Tarrant and Wally Webby married in August, 1916.
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