A friend recently lent me a copy of “The Washerwoman’s Dream” by Hilarie Lindsay. I enjoyed it so much I bought myself a copy.
It’s the story of an English girl, Winifred Oaten, who migrated to Australia with her father in the 1890s when she was about nine, and the amazing life she lead. (Her mother ran back down the gangplank just as the ship was about to pull away from the dock in England, and never came to Australia.) Winifred ended up marrying an Afghan camel man, going on a pilgrimage to Mecca as a Muslim, and having an audience with the then King Ibn Saud, among many other adventures and disasters. And she lived for a time in Billy Goat Lane in Oodnadatta (which runs along behind the Pink Roadhouse)!
I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of early European settlement in Australia. (It’s about 500 pages, so not an overnight read.) You can get a second-hand copy on www.abebooks.com for about $18.30 (incl postage). Or I’ll lend you my copy if you ask nicely.