Finding the Place — A Book Review


Written as a prose poem Finding the Place by Margaret Collett both surprised and delighted me. Although I don’t dislike poetry and some I find very moving it is not a genre that I would seek out to read and certainly didn’t expect to find that this was a book I simply could not put down.

Collett starts by describing the geography and physicality of the small country town ‘Tillers Gap, located in the Blue Mountains, with the Beladgery River running through the abandoned mines of its former gold rush years. We get a feel for an Aussie country town with its wide streets, old buildings with wide verandahs. She makes us want to visit before telling us that a coal mine has opened a few kilometres from these streets. Then she invites us to meet the locals decide for ourselves on how welcoming the town is.

The remainder of the narrative is prose poetry and the lyrical nature gets us to the heart and soul of those we meet as Collett draws a vivid picture of their character and their dilemmas. She builds the tension as she weaves us deftly into the lives of those we meet and we find we care about them as people desperate that the outcomes for them are good.

The different characters narrate their story which forms a continuous narrative where the tension built and had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I became part of the world of Tilller’s Gap.  The social issues dealt with are ones to which we can all relate. Mitch, a worker at the mine starts the story. We hear his family problems and then the big dilemma he has at the mine is raised. What will he do. You’ll have to buy it and see. You won’t be disappointed. It is available on from Amazon both in kindle format and paperback. 

Having lived in small country towns in rural Australia most of my life I know the characters intimately. They are in every country town and for a taste of Australia this book will more than satisfy you.


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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6 Responses to Finding the Place — A Book Review

  1. Charli Mills says:

    What an interesting review! And a fascinating way to tell a story through poetry and the townspeople of the place. I’d like to read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherri says:

    Your first paragraph gripped me as I feel just the same way as you Irene about poetry, and by the time I finished reading your review, you had me sold. I am fascinated by ‘small town’ Australia, thank you for telling us about what promises to be a wonderful read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: We Come Apart: A book Review | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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