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Download The Road from Coorain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Road from Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,502 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jill Ker Conway Narrator: Barbara Caruso Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the 1930s, Jill Ker’s parents bought a sheep farm on the western plains of New South Wales. In 1944, they lost nearly everything when a drought hit. Forced to leave Coorain, eleven-year-old Jill and her mother settled in Sydney where Jill struggled to find a place for herself among Sydney’s elite. Her story, both a chronicle of life in the Australian outback and the odyssey of a brilliant woman fighting the constraints of her time, offers a loving view of Australia. Includes a taped afterword by the author.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A small masterpiece.” 

    John Kenneth Galbraith

  • “[A] sheer delight.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Set against the conspicuous and awesome backdrop of Australia, this is a forthright and thought-provoking self-analysis of the author’s maturation as a woman, an international scholar and an Australian. Barbara Caruso demonstrates a superb grasp of the writer’s spirit and intent. She excels in conveying the powerful emotion and drama of this remarkable story without lapsing into sentimentalism.” 


  • “A wonderfully vivid, thoughtful picture of the Australian national character and experience—and of an exceptional woman’s personal and intellectual growth.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Lauren | 2/18/2014

    " I kept expecting something more to happen. maybe if I knew more aboutl Jill Coorain and her accomplishments, I would have appreciated it more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Meg | 2/17/2014

    " I didn't really expect to like this book--it's been sitting on my shelves for almost a year. But as a midwesterner, I connected with this story of a woman whose asthetics and life were formed by the Australian outback, not the more traditional landscapes celebrated in literature and poetry. I'm interested in reading her non-fiction to see her connections between Australian and U.S. settlement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Monica | 2/14/2014

    " This is a mind-boggling memoir of a girl who grew up at Coorain, a 32,000 acre ranch in the bush country of Australia. Jill Ker grew up with her family, isolated from other children. There are vivid descriptions of the sheep ranch and the shearing and crews that came to help. The harrowing descriptions of surviving weeks, months and years of drought are sobering when you read about the sheep and the toll it takes on everyone. At age 11 she and her mother left for Sydney. In spite of her already-advanced education, the bush girl had a difficult time fitting in at school. Finally her mother enrolled her in a private girls' school where she flourished. It was a difficult life as she was still relied upon to take care of matters with the manager of the ranch even through college and graduate school. At the time of her college education (late 1950's) she was also struggling against the societal ideas of what an Australian woman could aspire to do. Although it is out of the scope of this memoir, we know from the introduction that she eventually became the first woman president of Smith College in 1975. It is one of the best-written memoirs I have read. She has a lot of introspection on her relationships and how they affected her decisions. Also, she realized how her isolated upbringing caused her to not fit in, and she described changes that she worked on to be more at-ease socially. It is amazing how much her parents relied on her even as a young girl to be involved in the tough work at the ranch. She grew to be a very intelligent, strong, opinionated person, unashamed of her intellectual gifts. I'll have to look up her next memoir now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robin | 2/8/2014

    " This book gave a detailed picture of life on a rural sheep farm in Australia. It also depicted the British snobbery toward Australians. The author was partially home schooled, but her intelligence drove her to academic degrees. Her family had the resources to travel and she was able to form her own opinions from observing and interacting with many different cultures. Her relationship with her mother was painful, but she was able to break free. "

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