‘Possum by Mary Grant Bruce’Possum

’Possum is an amusing  story about adapting to country life.  It is quite realistic, and you can almost find yourself back in Gippsland at the start of the twentieth century.

Young Garth Macleod is convalescing from a very serious illness.  Doctor Metcalfe says the best thing for him is to go and live in the country.  And that staying in the city is not a good idea at all.

Garth and his family pull up their sticks and move from Melbourne to a small farm.  Doctor Metcalfe finds one for them in the Gippsland Lakes country, near Cuninghame.

Garth’s parents, Aileen and Tom, liked the easy city life.  But country living is very hard work indeed.  They have moved into the unknown.  It is not as easy as falling off a log.  But Garth manages to fall off Jane, his new pony, and dislocates his wrist.  Was moving such a good idea, after all?

Unexpectedly, “’Possum”–who only appears well after the first hundred pages–helps them find their feet.  She’s a 16-year-old girl who is immensely capable, being as good as a man at most farm jobs, and she is very unfeminine.

This tale is from a master story-teller.  It unfolds slowly, and you get the real feel for the time and the place, but most of all, for the characters.  It’s a pleasure to read.

The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights on this story.

First Published in: 1917
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne

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