Tale of frontier town life engrossing
A Diamond in the Dust By Frauke Bolton-Boshammer with Sue Smethurst, Simon and Schuster, $37.99
Frauke Bolton was born in West Germany on a farm close to the wall. Her mother died when she was very young and she was raised by her dad, a man unable to put his grief to one side. On leaving a not very happy schooling she did what many young girls did at that time. She went away to do a diploma in home economics which would enable the young Frauke to obtain a position as a housekeeper. Her first position on a farm saw her falling in love with the younger son who loved her and left her. However, the serious older son stepped into the breach and married her.
Fritz, her new husband, was not content to stay close to home. With now three children they did a stint in Rhodesia at the time of serious political tensions. They loved their time there, but Rhodesia gave Fritz itchy feet. He did not settle back in Germany and when an opportunity to join a farming trip to Australia arose he was there.
On his return he broke the news to Frauke that he had bought a farm in the Northern Territories.
A Diamond in the Dust is her story. It was 1981. A dusty frontier town was no place for a woman. All Frauke wanted to do was get on the next plane out. However, that was not her nature. She determined to overcome loneliness and homesickness, help her husband carve out a future and be the best mother to her three children who were finding it all as strange as she was. From sifting the weevils out of the flour before baking her bread, Frauke determined to do her best. She faced great tragedies and great loves. She was enterprising and in later years became immersed in the burgeoning diamond industry with a great deal of success, but it was her family, friends and in later years her great love for her new country that were important.
Frauke tells her story herself. It is a simple retelling and throughout the reader gets the feeling of a rather stoic and at times phlegmatic woman determined to do her best. Before I read Diamond in the Dust I had just finished reading The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters. Frauke Bolton Boshammer’s story is much more engrossing. —