Old McLarsen Had Some Farms-Book Review
by Christine Larsen
Book Review ©Viga Boland, editor of Memoirabilia
Memoirabilia is proud to offer its readers a review of this very interesting memoir by one of our Facebook Group members, Christine Larsen. Christine is a prolific writer, the author of many children’s books. You can peruse her catalogue on her Amazon Author’s page.
If you’re a true-blue Aussie, proud of your Australian heritage, you will enjoy “Old McLarsen Had Some Farms” by Christine Larsen. If you weren’t raised in Australia, but like learning about other cultures, or Crocodile Dundee made you curious about all aspects of those tough, sunburned Aussies, then you’ll most certainly learn a lot that the movie didn’t show you. And if you’re a farmer anywhere else in the world and wonder about how different it is to farm in Australia, “Old McLarsen Had Some Farms” is going to fill you in delightfully.
Christine Larsen and her husband, Kanute, decided one day to up and leave the big city life and all its conveniences to give farming a shot. What a shock their first day on a farm was. Christine brought along her electric kettle, which a required 240 volt outlet, only to find there was only one outlet supplying 32 volts from a Diesel engine to supply all her needs. That was just the beginning! From outhouse toilets and laundry rooms filled with cobwebs, to taking in kangaroos and other animals, to trying to bake a cake on an ancient Metters stove, to brewing genuine Ginger Beer whose lid exploded during a seance, Christine will have you laughing along with her and Kanute.
Kanute drops in his recollections throughout “Old McLarsen Had Some Farms”. It takes the reader a couple of chapters to realize he is doing this. Once you sort it out, the story moves along nicely from chapter to chapter. The reader will learn some fascinating facts about so many things Australian. As an ex-pat, I enjoyed hearing the “ocker” vernacular of the sheep shearers, but again, you may need to be an Aussie to appreciate it.
“Old McLarsen Had Some Farms” is valuable primarily as a legacy of what life was like in rural Australia in the 60’s. Christine Larsen has found a way to teach and enlighten, while she muses and amuses. One comes away sensing just how much the author and her husband love their rugged homeland, where scorpion and spider bites can be deadly, where the red dust across the Nullabor Plain gets into noses as you drive, and where the beer flows freely and strongly down thirsty throats after a hard days work.
If what you want to read is something different about life in a country other than North America or Europe, come down under and spend some time on those old McLarsen farms.