For my recent birthday, my sister from Perth, (down under) sent me a wonderful book. Apparently it's an Australian classic and I'd never come across it. Perhaps you all know all about it and think me an ignoramus for not doing so.
Called A Fortunate Life, it's the memoir of an amazing man, A.B. (Bert) Facey who was born in Australia in 1894. He was unable to read or write till well into adulthood and his story is told in very simple language yet his life was so full, the book is a real page turner.
Virtually abandoned as a young boy, he was passed from family to family, practically as a slave. He was beaten half to death by one man and carried those scars all his life. Surviving all this, he became tough and independent, virtually running farms by the time he was 12 and cattle driving across the outback at 14 (once getting lost in the bush for six days before being rescued by Aboriginal people). He worked with sheep, dug wells (and nearly died when one fell in on him) and was injured at Gallipoli and these are just a few of his many lives.
A quote on the blurb says - 'In Albert Facey's story we find a story of Australia.' and what a story!