Review Blog

Jan 31 2019

A diamond in the dust by Frauke Bolten-Boshammer, with Sue Smethurst

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Simon and Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781925685084.
(Age: 15+) This is a wonderful story of a strong woman who was prepared to follow her husband from country Germany to Kununurra, in the north-west of Western Australia, in April 1981. He wanted to make a new life there and she agreed to leave her extended family and her beloved homeland to follow his dream. Her agreement to go with her husband was a very difficult one, but she supports him and moves to one of the most arid parts of Australia. This book is suitable for all ages, from adolescent readers through to adults, and is a heart-warming read.
The struggle to survive in the outback of the north-western corner of Western Australia is all-encompassing. The couple establish a farm and all seems to be going well, until one day when, unexpectedly, it all becomes too much for Friedrich. They have, by then, had 4 children and Frauke is determined to make a success of the life that they had planned. Due to her fascination with the diamond industry, she decides to open a shop selling diamond jewellery, stocking some of the most beautiful diamonds mined in the area.
After her husband's death, Frauke struggles to face life by herself and the children, but she is determined to carry on their work. Unexpectedly, she faces a tragedy that would break many people, twice, and she has to decide, once more, how she can face life and her business. Her devotion to the children and her work in the shop, designing and selling unique and beautiful diamond jewellery, enables her to survive, and she becomes well-known both in Australia and in the wider world. We are entranced by the loving kindness of her second husband, and she is so happy in her choice, and delighted with the respect and loyalty of their children.
This is a really strong story that is captivating, uplifting and rich in detail, both about the family, the people who surround them, and the area in which they live. Telling the true story of a woman who finds strength when many others would have collapsed, especially having faced not only one tragedy, but more unthinkable events. As we see how her spirit imbues this narrative, we notice that she draws on her determination to face life even when tragedy strikes more than once, and we understand her desire to love and support her children, to be a good, loving partner to her second husband, and to make her business successful, all of which she achieves. Despite the terrible times in her life, her seemingly boundless love and resilience, the love and strength of her family, and her ambition to make a good life for her family, enable her to create a resoundingly successful business and to have a second chance at a life lived with love and friendship.
This book is suitable for older adolescents and adults.
Elizabeth Bondar

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