Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living

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Picador, 2006 - Australia - 255 pages
9 Reviews

It is 1934, the Great War is long over and the next is yet to come. It is a brief time of optimism and advancement.

Amid billowing clouds of dust and information, the government ‘Better Farming Train’ slides through the wheat fields and small towns of Australia, bringing expert advice to those living on the land. The train is on a crusade to persuade the country that science is the key to successful farming, and that productivity is patriotic.

Among the swaying cars full of cows, pigs and wheat, an unlikely love affair occurs between Robert Pettergree, a man with an unusual taste for soil, and Jean Finnegan, a talented young seamstress with a hunger for knowledge. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism, they marry and settle in the impoverished Mallee with the ambition of proving that a scientific approach to cultivation can transform the land.

But after seasons of failing crops, and with the threat of a new World War looming, Robert and Jean are forced to confront each other, the community they have inadvertently destroyed, and the impact of their actions on an ancient and fragile landscape.

Shot through with humour and a quiet wisdom, this haunting first novel vividly captures the hope and the disappointment of the era when it was possible to believe in the perfectibility of both nature and humankind.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

This is a fine first novel. Gently told, using the "show, don't tell" technique, the book seems simple, but I'd deceptively deep. I wished, at the end, that there was more - the plot and the characters could easily continue to grow. Read Oct 2013. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

It was a pure fluke that I happened across this book. Carrie Tiffany has won the inaugural Stella prize in Australia for her second book, Mateship with Birds. I checked my library to see if they had ... Read full review

Contents

The Better Farming Train Brings Science to the ManontheLand
1
Frank Finnegans Fruit
15
The Folly Cow
25
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire. Her family migrated to Western Australia in the early 1970s where an attempt to live off the land failed. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger, and now lives in Melbourne.

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