The Drover’s Wives

By Megan Thomas

Have you read The Drover’s Wife? The Drover’s Wife is a dramatic short story by Henry Lawson, which is regarded as an Australian classic, that I had never heard of before reading this book. It is about a woman who is left alone with her four children in an isolated house in the bush, and her battle with an intruding snake.

The Drover’s Wives is Ryan O’Neill’s 101 retellings of the story in all sorts of weird and wonderful forms – from ballad to sitcom script, high school essay to sports commentator script. I read a couple of Goodreads reviews before reading it and found such a hilarious 2 star review that went something along the lines of “it was like… the same story… A MILLION TIMES”. Yes, Anonymous Reviewer, I suspect that was kind of the point.

Ironically, given that it’s the same story 101 times, the book never felt overly repetitive (though at times I had to take a little break). This is something a bit different and creative to sink your teeth into, and a great idea! 

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