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'The False Green Promise' is a personal reflection of journeys both physical and emotional. As a young man in postwar England, the narrator sets off for a new life as a farmhand in Australia, leaving behind both the country and the woman he loves. His new life, however, does not go to plan. The tale spans the narrator's life in Australia and we witness his struggle to carve a life for himself in spite of adverse circumstances. We are led through fascinating reminiscences of wartime England coupled with modern day corruption and personal tragedy. The narrator offers his principled views as he struggles to live life as he feels it should be lived. Moving from first to second person the narrator gives a certain immediacy to the events recounted and equally a certain distance when necessary. This is a very human tale, told with rare perspicacity and profound emotional depth. Above all this is a story of quiet triumphs, of the hard won daily victories that eventually give life meaning.
This is a moving and beautifully crafted tale that makes an important statement about life in the face of tragedy, loss and failed ambitions and how in the end, these things can become the paving stones on the road to wisdom and the affirmation of life.
Ron Hedleysmith was born at Newbury Park, Essex, England in 1936. After a basic primary and secondary education, he started work as a farmer's boy at the age of 14. In 1953 he went to Australia to work on the land in Tasmania. For the next 15 years he worked at a seeming multitude of occupations that ranged from labouring for the building industry, security worker, restaurant servicing and youth leadership. In 1968 he became a public servant and worked in this industry until his retirement in 2001. Ron is married, lives in Central Victoria and has a daughter and two grandchildren.