Stone Country is the story of Ross Grant – a man determined to leave his manipulative family behind in order to seek his fortune in the Northern Territory. His journey is one of anger and desire, adventure and determination, from nineteenth-century Adelaide northwards to the heart of stone country and beyond. Make your next book club meet-up one to remember with Nicole Alexander’s vast, thematically rich, rural historical novel. Here are some talking points to get you started.
Discussion points and questions:
- Who is your favourite character and why?
- Discuss how Stone Country explores the burden of duty, rivalry, mateship, betrayal and of the far-reaching ramifications of a loveless childhood.
- Ross Grant is an unlikely hero, one who embodies the duality of human nature. In what ways is his personality affected by the limitations imposed on his life by both his family and his own poor decision-making?
- Darcey and Maria are two very different women – but both are constrained by their gender and determined to make the best of their lives. Compare and contrast their similarities and differences.
- Connor is the voice of reason in Ross’s life and yet his interference, although well-intended, has far-reaching implications for Ross. Discuss how far a person should go to protect a friend, even if it’s from themselves.
- We’re introduced to the Station hierarchy of a large cattle station in the northern Territory in the 1900s. Compare and contrast the gender, class and race divide.
- The Australian landscape, its beauty and harshness is an integral part of Stone Country. How well has the author succeeded in capturing both time and place in the novel?