L: Lawson by Grantlee Kieza #atozchallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted. My theme for 2023 is Book Reviews.

You can read my reviews without worrying about spoilers. My reviews are quite brief and I give away nothing more than you would read on the back cover or on Goodreads.




“Henry Lawson captured the heart and soul of Australia and its people with greater clarity and truth than any writer before him. Born on the goldfields in 1867, he became the voice of ordinary Australians, recording the hopes, dreams and struggles of bush battlers and slum dwellers, of fierce independent women, foreign fathers and larrikin mates.

Lawson wrote from the heart, documenting what he saw from his earliest days as a poor, lonely, handicapped boy with warring parents on a worthless farm, to his years as a literary lion, then as a hopeless addict cadging for drinks on the streets, and eventually as a prison inmate, locked up in a tiny cell beside murderers. A controversial figure today, he was one of the first writers to shine a light on the hardships faced by Australia’s hard-toiling wives and mothers, and among the first to portray, with sympathy, the despair of Indigenous Australians at the ever-encroaching European tide. His heroic figures such as The Drover’s Wife and the fearless unionists striking out for a better deal helped define Australia’s character, and while still a young man, his storytelling drew comparisons on the world stage with Tolstoy, Gorky and Kipling.

But Henry Lawson’s own life may have been the most compelling saga of all, a heart-breaking tale of brilliance, lost love, self-destruction and madness” – Goodreads

Published in 2021. 512 pages.

My Thoughts

The author definitely tells the story of the life of Henry Lawson, warts and all. There is no glossing over his heavy drinking and the problems he faced in his life, many caused by himself. I have been a fan of Henry Lawson since we read The Drovers Wife at school. I come back to his short stories quite often and always enjoy them, but have never really given much thought to his life. I found it very sad to read about his life, in fact this book brought me to tears in many places.

Henry Lawson is an icon in Australia, but he was flawed, and those flaws are laid out in the book. I really enjoyed reading the back story to his short stories – where he got his ideas from, who might have prompted them, and why he wrote them.

For a fan of Henry Lawson, this book is gold. If you’re not a fan, or not aware of his works, I’m sure you would still enjoy this very well researched book, about a man who had a weakness, but who also had a huge talent for writing.

I would recommend Lawson, without any hesitation at all, as an unputdownable read.

More than 60 pages of bibliography and references.

All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

Star Rating 

Please note that my star rating system isn’t at all based on literary merit, but is based on my enjoyment for the book.
For me a book that gets five stars, is a book that I really enjoyed, and found difficult to put down.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Unputdownable. Would definitely read again
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Fantastic read. Not to be missed.
⭐️⭐️⭐️Enjoyable read. Would recommend.
⭐️⭐️Wouldn’t read again
⭐️Don’t recommend this book again

Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

Images and author information: Goodreads

You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
 and Tracking Down The Family

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26 thoughts on “L: Lawson by Grantlee Kieza #atozchallenge

  1. I am unfamiliar with Lawson, but your four-star review is intriguing. Perhaps I’ll start with one of his works before tackling this one — which, despite its sadness, sounds like a clarion call to those who say they want to write, but don’t because so much gets in the way. The answer would be, look to Henry Lawson and all he overcame.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve always enjoyed Lawson’s poetry.

    The good news is that I logged on to Libby at my local library and was able to borrow this book in eBook format. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like one that I will really enjoy…his works are so fundamental to Australian life. Reading about his own life will be a good counterbalance. Must follow Jill’s tip about Libby.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer, Thank you for your weekend coffee share. Your book review introduced me to Lawson who I haven’t heard of but I’m now intrigued to read his life story.


  5. I had tried to sign in to leave a comment a couple of days ago, couldn’t because I was on my iPad (a problem I sometimes have) and I don’t think my comment took – but I have an update, so it’s just as well. I tried to find Lawson books at my local library and wasn’t successful but I located some of his short stories on Project Gutenberg. I’ve now read The Drovers Wife and I want to read more when I have the chance. What a story that was. I had never heard of Henry Lawson (I’m from the United States, incidentally) – his life story is amazing (and tragic). Alana ramblinwitham


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