BOOK CLUB: A Diamond in the Dust

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Author: Frauke Bolten-Boshammer with Sue Smethurst
ISBN: 978-19-2568-508-4
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: November 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

A Diamond in the Dust is a true story, the story of how one woman carved a diamond empire out of outback dust.


Fruake and Friedrich Bolton left all they knew behind in Germany to start a new life in Kununurra. The dusty outback town was no place for a woman in 1981 but Frauke was a woman determined to help her husband build their new life together.

Three years later Frauke was left to raise their family alone.

Kimberley Fine Diamonds in Kununurra is now home to one of the world’s largest collections of Argyle pink diamonds, twenty-six years after she sold the first necklace off the back porch. The client list boasts some top level celebrities, including Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Frauke is credited with pioneering an industry but also for putting the tiny town on the map.

A Diamond in the Dust is a true tale of hardship and heartache, love and loss; but it’s also the inspiring story of a young wife and mother from Germany who overcame tragedy to build an international diamond empire in an extremely unforgiving terrain.

A Diamond in the Dust is published by Simon & Schuster and available now from Angus & Robertson, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading A Diamond in the Dust so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: A Diamond in the Dust

  1. I love learning peoples stories as so often those true stories of peoples lives are so interesting and Frauke Bolten-Boshammer’s story is certainly a life that is interesting beyond belief.
    Frauke tells us about growing up in Germany and how she met the man that would become her husband. Her husband was a man with so many dreams and the desire to live an exciting life so that meant that Frauke was kept on her toes when he seemed to never be able to stay in one place and their travels landed them in outback Australia which of course is so very different to life in Germany. Frauke shares with us the battles she had to settle and finally reach the point where she could call this new land home. She shares the joyous times and the sad times and all those in between that go into making up a life lived. She faced some very tough times and shares those times in the book with such class and honesty. To learn how she became involved in argyle pink Diamonds is so very interesting.
    I love that there are some lovely family photos included in the book and felt that only one thing could make this book better…. Frauke talks often of the meals and different foods she would cook for family gatherings and I really wished that the recipes for these delights had been included in the book. Perhaps she will follow up with a Frauke’s Family Cookbook.
    I feel that this would be an awesome book to gift this Christmas for anyone who is interested in reading peoples true life stories. Frauke is certainly a woman with style, class, strength and drive.

  2. Before I started reading ‘A Diamond in the Dust’, I thought it might be a bit dry. I was completely wrong about that! The life story of Frauke Bolton-Boshammer is incredibly interesting and inspiring. It’s heart warming and heart wrenching. Frauke tells her story with raw and beautiful honesty.

    The harshness and beauty of the Australian outback is reflected in the harshness and beauty of Frauke’s life.

    I believe this book should be on the school curriculum so that all Australians have the opportunity to read it. It describes life in the outback so beautifully.

    This would also make a superb Christmas present to old or young, men or women (my Dad is getting it as a gift this year).

    I thoroughly recommend this book. It would have to be one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in a long time.

  3. A Diamond in the Dust is a very moving and powerful book about how one woman overcame so much tragedy and had unstopable courage to survive to tell her story. Frauke Bolten-Boshammer is a German immigrant who against all odds survived the most unforgiving terrains on earth, the Australian Outback. In today’s society there would be very few Australian’s that would even attempt the idea of living in the harsh conditions that the Bolten family had to endure. It made me reflect on how fortunate I am in my own life regardless of the ups and downs of everyday circumstances Friedrich, Frauke’s husband had so much hope and yet so much despair that he took his own life in the first three years of arriving into Australia and left his young wife and children to battle alone in a country so far away from their own home in Germany. Frauke was a very brave woman who was brought up in harsh conditions back home in Germany and was shown vey little love and yet her love for husband, even after he passed away and children and indeed her new home Australia became the foundation of keeping her family together even until this very day. She never gave up regardless of all the disappointments. She always had the willpower to get up and start all over again. She in own right became a successful business woman and put Kununurra on the map for the world to see with the introduction of her company Kimberley Fine Diamonds. A happy part of the story is where she was able to find love again after the passing of her husband. It’s a story that will bring tears, laughter and shock to think that a woman was able to endure so much. Extremely proud to be called Australian after reading the portrayal of country mateship. I found it hard to put the book down. Well done Frauke may she live many more years of good health, happiness and success..

  4. I’m a huge fan of true stories but was totally unsure of what to expect from this book as I don’t have a great understanding of life on the land and have certainly never been anywhere remote. Within the first few pages, I was hooked and found it very difficult to put the book down.
    Frauke, a German immigrant tells her heartfelt story with raw openness. She vividly highlights the wonderful moments of her life journey so far and shares the sadder moments with honesty and sincerity. She doesn’t avoid discussing the tragedies she has endured and raises awareness by doing so.
    Frauke’s own personal story is one of overcoming adversity and never giving up. This is the journey of a truly inspiring lady who shows the reader through examples that while we can’t control events that occur in our lives, we certainly have the power to control how we react and keep moving forward.
    This book would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves a meaningful true story.

  5. Loved this tale of determination and overcoming adversity by Frauke Bolten-Boshammer with Sue Smethurst called ‘A Diamond in the Dust’.
    I found this to be an easy to read non-fiction tale about Frauke – her life, family and building of her business Kimberley Fine Diamonds. Frauke engages you as you read about the good times and the devastating and challenging times.
    I always love getting to know the people and the places through non-fiction, I poured over the photos within the book getting to know Frauke’s family and found myself googling the places she spoke about Kununurra, Lake Argyle, Kelly’s Knob and Hidden Valley. The outback Frauke speaks about in her story is an additional character that we grow to love and hate, I learnt about the hardship the locals face with the wet season, crops and nature but also the beauty the area has to offer.
    I think most will enjoy this book, I have recommended it to many already. Frauke’s story from a child in Germany to a successful business woman in the Australian Outback today deserves to be on everyone’s book shelves.
    Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book.

  6. Absolutely loved it. As someone who spent time in the bush I always enjoy books set in the outback.
    “A Diamond In The Dust” is the true story of Frauke Bolten-Boshammer
    Frauke herself proves to be a real diamond. Despite being dealt many tragedies, she deals with it all in a positive way. Not only getting back up and getting on with life, but achieving so much in the harsh outback
    This is a story that follows Frauke from her birthplace in Germany to living in Africa and then the place she really made her mark: Kununurra in Western Australia
    A story that is jam packed with a real gamut of life experiences. This is one strong gutsy woman
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review such an enjoyable book

  7. A Diamond in the Dust by Frauke Bolten-Boshammer and published by @Simon & Schuster is an epic family drama, a tale of incredible hardship, heart wrenching anguish and grief, and indomitable spirit, which really captures the pioneering spirit.

    It is Frauke’s story, a young German wife and mother, who with her adventurous husband and three young children, is thrust into a dusty, hot and merciless frontier life in the Australian outback, a far cry from the lush, cool pastoral world she knew in Europe.

    Through the floods, crocodiles, spoiled crops and devastating life tragedies, Frauke shows herself to be a strong and determined woman, who really is living testament to her belief that despite the hardships that life throws at you, “never begin to give up, and never give up beginning”. Her analogy of being like those roly-poly dolls that you cant knock down, is particularly apt.

    An easy to read enjoyable book that touches you deeply.

  8. i went away to have my second baby before the book arrived in the mail and i just returned home with a new baby and somewhere in the chaos managed to read this book.
    mainly because this book is written by my dear friend Katrinas mother and because I have called the Kimberleys home for a number of years.
    Frauke is an amazing woman, she has done so much for the community and the shop truely is beautiful.
    Reading through the story of Frauke and her determination throughout her life to strive forward, support nurture, guide and love those around her through both the tough times and the good.
    Fraukes upbringing and early life in Germany is far different from her experiences in Australia and the harsh and remote reality she braved on moving to the very isolated and hot community of Kununurra.
    The way the book is written is very easy to read, promotes relaxation and the reflection of ones life choices and the ups and downs we face as a human race.
    Facing situations like continental migration, isolation, debt, drought, sadness, family loss and cancer can cause people to second guess their purpose in life and for the Bolton family they suffered terrible loss and heartship but somehow rose above it all and persevered.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Frauke Bolton- Boshammers book and am so grateful for the insight into such a prominent lady of the kununurra community and her family.

  9. ‘People assumed I had absolutely no idea. They thought I was just the little German housewife who cooked for people on the farm. They underestimated me’.

    These words come directly from Frauke Bolten-Boshammer, who is the subject of the memoir, A Diamond in the Dust. Frauke is also the co-narrator of this book which she shares with Sue Smethurst, a senior journalist. A Diamond in the Dust is a very accessible non fiction title, reminding the reader of what it means to be human and survive life’s knocks.

    Reading A Diamond in the Dust by Frauke Bolten-Boshammer and Sue Smethurst is a little like being the observer while someone puts on a family projector. Reel upon reel of vivid images of Frauke’s life appeared before my eyes, as I placed my myself in her shoes. Frauke’s journey begins as a young girl in Germany. The book charts her childhood briefly, along with her early career, her courtship to her husband Friedrich, their move to Rhodesia, the family’ s return to Germany and eventually their brave move to Kununurra. Each scene in Frauke’s life is well told, so this is an ideal memoir for those who are just starting out to explore non fiction titles.

    What I enjoyed the most about A Diamond in the Dust was the fish out of water feeling expressed by Frauke. Her husband is determined not to fail in his new life in Australia; there is no option for him to return to Germany defeated. While Frauke’s young children relish in their new outback life, their mother struggles. We learn a great deal about the migrant experience in Australia. Frauke explains how she experienced language barriers, acclimatising to the heat, difficulties in obtaining food and services and the ignorance in terms of agricultural techniques. What also pulled me in were the little flourishes on the Bolten’s German background. I loved hearing about the traditional cooking, dish preparation, customs, Christmas celebrations and Frauke’s propensity to open her home to many (including Hollywood stars). She is clearly a generous and giving woman.

    What also made this book so genuine were the scenes where Frauke described unwelcome intruders, such as the snakes or a crocodile that was chased out of the house, it was quite unbelievable! It also gives the reader a very conclusive understanding of what everyday life would be in an inhospitable land.

    Where A Diamond in the Dust succeeds is in its side focus on mental health in rural areas. We learn how suicide does not discriminate and touches the young and old, both male and female in the outback. I hope drawing attention to this through her own personal and painful experiences, Frauke can open up essential channels of conversation that need to occur around this vital area of need.

    On a different note, I was taken aback by Frauke’s establishment of her diamond business. She truly is a woman to aspire to and her ingenuity meant she soared, high above anyone’s expectations. She is incredibly influential and an excellent figurehead for the Kununurra community and the surrounding Kimberley region.

    My only drawback of A Diamond in the Dust that I feel I must highlight is the layout of the book. I welcomed the personal photographs included which added another visual layer to the unfolding life story. However, their particular placement in the text meant that it ruined some of the unfolding story for me, some life events were covered in these photographs which I actually had not read about yet in the memoir, so it was spoiler!

    Frauke Bolten-Boshammer is an everyday hero and we need more books about life’s pioneers. My heartfelt appreciation to Frauke and Sue Smethurst for scripting this excellent memoir on life, love, loss, survival and faith.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace Book Club and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Australia for a copy of this book.

  10. A Diamond in the Dust is an biographical / auto-bio book about Frauke’s life in Germany, marriage, children and migration to Australia and her live in outback Australia with her trials and successes along the way. I realised early on in this book that maybe bios are not the books for me. I felt that the book was trying to put across that Frauke was ‘doing it all alone’ when in fact in the background to her life there was a lot of support. I understand that migration to outback Australia would have been difficult and a reality shock but I could not muster any sympathy for the character as the others around her were not getting recognition for their support. I did not finish this book but passed it on. If I don’t ‘get into a book’ in the first few chapters I won’t waste my time on it. The book may have improved as it went on .. I will never know. Maybe this type of story just wasn’t my taste in books.
    I won’t give this book a rating because I did not finish it and so that would be unfair.
    thank you to Beauty and Lace and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Australia for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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