It is January 1951, and after a year away Eleanor Webber has returned home to River Run, her family’s sprawling sheep property in western New South Wales. With the shearing of over 25,000 sheep about to commence, her half-brother Robbie running wild, a storm looming and tensions rising in the shearing shed, this is not likely to be the homecoming Eleanor was expecting…
Take a look at the questions below and get the ball rolling on your next book club discussion.
Reading Group Questions
- Communism was a major concern in Australia during the 1950s. How does this suspicion help to form the narrative in River Run?
- Eleanor is a young woman challenging the traditional values of womanhood. Discuss the changing roles of women in the 1950s.
- Who is your favourite character and why?
- The reader is introduced to the station hierarchy of a large sheep stud in the 1950s. Compare and contrast the gender, class and race divides.
- Do Robbie’s actions stem from a desire to protect his home and the family business, or is he simply a spoilt, lonely child with too much time on his hands?
- Discuss how Eleanor’s return to River Run is also a journey of self- discovery.
- River Run paints a picture of rural Australia in the 1950s – the effects of two world wars on families, and the fear of further threat, as well as a sense of renewed optimism and prosperity. How well has the author succeeded in capturing both time and place?
- The Australian landscape, its beauty and harshness is an integral part of River Run. Describe the importance of the Warrigal Storm in the narrative, in terms of imagery and theme.