After consuming Watership Down chapter by chapter, I feared I might scratch my eyes out trying to drag myself through the thornbushes of The Road from Coorain. After following humble Hazel, it was a rough transition to following a self-focused, ungrateful, complainer, who spends the latter half of the book deconstructing her mother. At first, I thought the long drawn-out set up in the first chapter was so that I could deeply appreciate the character of Conway’s mother making a life for their family in the outback. It almost worked up to that point. Instead, Conway sets up her mother at the beginning of the book, only to tear her down through the rest of it as she builds herself up in her own eyes as both a martyr, and self-realized woman.
My curiosity has certainly been peaked about why this book was chosen. The class discussions have been sprinkled with comments pointing out the lack of female characters, so I am sure that is part of the story. If this is representative of stories by or about women during the modern time period, it is no wonder to me that I have not read more. It is also a good example of how ugly it can come across when one sings their own praises, especially at the expense of someone else.
It was a very looooong, short book. And for me the only upside to reading The Road from Coorain was that it made reading The Road, the book I had been dreading, almost a relief.
Feel free to throw tomatoes at me now.