Extended Audio Sample

Download The Road from Coorain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Road from Coorain Audiobook, 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: April 1989 ISBN: 9781436147071
Regular Price: $24.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RECO_002973

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.” 

    AudioFile

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mychael-Ann | 2/4/2014

    " Read this years ago, it is some of the only reading I've ever done about Australia's outback. I remember liking this memoir and being so interested in the setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brennan | 1/28/2014

    " I really loved this book. What a wonderful and thoughtful autobiography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kriste | 1/21/2014

    " This was great! A memoir of the author's experience growing up in Australia, the book describes the struggles of raising sheep and working the harsh land during a difficult time of transition in Australia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 1/20/2014

    " My understanding of Australia and its mentality in the 50's as well as Ker's extraordinary parents, kept me enthralled through this classic memoir. She went from a sheep station to the presidency of Smith College. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherilyn | 1/15/2014

    " The first woman president of Smith College tells of her journey from the sheep farms of Australia to her departure for America. It is a gripping heroic story of a strong ambitious young girl. Mmeoir at its best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/5/2014

    " beautifully written, with wonderful imagery of the Australian bush "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 12/18/2013

    " The outback is the fascinating background for one woman's journey to get an education. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole Marble | 12/13/2013

    " An uneven book about a girl/woman who began life in the outback of Australia and wound up in New England academia. Ya just never know what will happen to a person! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Q | 12/12/2013

    " enjoyed this autobiography. there are so few books out there of women who are smart and succeed in life. a role model and remarkable life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/10/2013

    " Autobiography of the first woman president of Smith College. She tells us of her upbringing in the outback of Australia including the background of her parents. Another good book for middle school ages and up. Gives some wonderful history/geography lessons on Australia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 11/21/2013

    " Seemed to lack substance. Very negative overall considering its purpose as a feminist manifesto is positive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Kennedy | 6/11/2013

    " this book has been on my shelf for YEARS. Finally got it down & plowed thru it. I enjoyed the landscapes & culture references about Australia. Jill's story bogged down a few times, & the dealings w/her mother were beyond well-described. Then, the book just ends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Gallagher | 1/19/2013

    " This memoir about growing up in rural Australia was extremely interesting. The second half of the book focused on the author's college and post-college life, which wasn't as interesting as the first half. But it was a well written and interesting story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 6/24/2012

    " Interesting book about life in the Australian outback from a young woman's point of view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/26/2011

    " The author, and her family (and the many outback families like hers, as well, I'm sure), lead a really interesting life. Kind of sad-to-bittersweet, but touching, charming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathlyn | 12/23/2011

    " I enjoyed this memoir. Memoir is my least favorite genre, and this one held my attention. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 10/22/2011

    " A favorite (I just finished my third reading). Beautiful writing about some of my favorite themes: education, feminism, man's relationship to land, mother-daughter relationships, and other great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonja | 10/19/2011

    " Fascinating look at the isolated life of a remarkable family on an Australian sheep farm, and the journey Jill took to become president of an American college. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 9/24/2011

    " beautiful imagery of australia "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 9/18/2011

    " Memoir by the first woman president of Smith College. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 4/29/2011

    " This is an amazing story from "down under". From life on an Australian sheep farm to the President of an American University, Jill Ker Conway tells the story of her journey, both physical and intellectual, through different worlds in a time of great change for women everywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 4/3/2011

    " I loved this book. When I finished the last page, I wanted more and t does seem there is a follow up to this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/20/2011

    " This was a interesting memoir about growing up in Australia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 12/21/2010

    " Well, first, I enjoy autobiographies, especially those that give me more insight into a time and/or place other than my own. Secondly, Jill Ker Conway is an excellent writer and an intelligent person who write with such candor that she inspires and delights! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 11/28/2010

    " This is one of my all-time favorite memoirs... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanne | 11/21/2010

    " read this 20 years ago and again last week; compelling; story of how an intellectual gets that way. Exquisitly written. Many parallels with my own life--except for the intellectual bit, that is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 10/29/2010

    " This memoir about growing up in rural Australia was extremely interesting. The second half of the book focused on the author's college and post-college life, which wasn't as interesting as the first half. But it was a well written and interesting story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myrn54 | 10/11/2010

    " Took me into an Australia I have not seen. And showed me a person of remarkable fortitude, resilience & authenticity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blssjones | 7/24/2010

    " A better read than I'd expected when I first opened it. Interesting thought processes/author. Bryn Mawr friends will enjoy... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 7/7/2010

    " Coming-of-age autobiography about an amazingly smart woman who discovers the scholar within herself. Loved all the insights about her familial relationships, especially those of her mother. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Narrator

Barbara Caruso is an accomplished actress and critically acclaimed audiobook narrator. A graduate of London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she was a featured player in the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has played starring roles on Broadway and in theaters across the country. She won the Alexander Scourby Reader of the Year Award for her performances of young adult fiction, and has more than one hundred audiobook narrations to her credit.