I love Aussie authors and I think it’s exciting to head out and meet them, especially those based in South Australia. Tonight I took the opportunity to head in to the Mt Barker Community Library to listen to a talk by the talented Victoria Purman about her latest release The Last of the Bonegilla Girls.
We are reading The Last of the Bonegilla Girls as part of the Beauty and Lace Book Club, it was one of our April titles and I absolutely loved it. My love of the book, and my desire to support local authors, gave me motivation to get to one of the launch events. Recently Victoria has appeared in halls, bookshops and libraries across the state to share a little about the book and the stories of her family that inspired it.
The Last of the Bonegilla Girls is a story that focuses on the post-war migrant population. It is a novel inspired by actual people but not a biography. Victoria shared with us some heartfelt memories and stories of her family that help explain why she felt the need to write this book.
Victoria shared some information about Bonegilla and the people who were there, the stories that she had heard. She then went on to tell us about the book and what she wanted to achieve. The story follows a friendship group of 4 from the 1950s right through to the current day with the grandchildren of the original four and explores some of the differences in the worlds they live in.
One of the things I find the most fascinating is the numbers. 1 in 20 people have connections to the migrant camp at Bonegilla, and Victoria demonstrates this in her talks with a show of hands. She involved the audience in her talk and shared memories.
I had my gorgeous teen with me and she was touched, and fascinated by Victoria’s talk. She left the library wanting to read the book for herself.
I have met Victoria at a couple of different launches now and I must say that I was thrilled to have her in Mt Barker, otherwise I would have headed down the hill to the launch at Dymocks in Rundle Mall. They always put on a wonderful event.
There are still a number of events across South Australia, and also Victoria, where you can catch the talented Victoria Purman and hear her talk about her family’s migrant experiences. I have only caught one talk on the tour but I’m sure they would all be at least a little different if you wanted to go and catch her at a couple.
The Mt Barker Community Library hosts some fabulous authors and I am glad to have finally started attending events. There was a great audience in attendance tonight with a diverse range of backgrounds.
Coming up there is an event at the Victor Harbor Library this Friday evening and then Millicent, Mount Gambier and Victoria. Do yourself a favour and go meet her. You will be glad you did.
If you’re in Mt Barker make sure to check out the library. It’s friendly, welcoming and modern.
Tonight was hosted by Terri and her support staff with Matilda’s Bookshop on hand with copies of Victoria’s books to purchase. I picked one up and had it signed by the author.