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Mayfield Girl: A woman's search for mother's love: A memoir of Newcastle and country NSW

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Jean Sharp grew up in working class Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW, in the shadow of the BHP steelworks. Her life spanned the steelworks' very beginnings to nearly its closure in 1999. Jean recalls in remarkable detail the big and small events of 20th century life: school during World War I, the growth of Mayfield and Newcastle, domestic and social life, work as a midwife in the Jean Sharp grew up in working class Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW, in the shadow of the BHP steelworks. Her life spanned the steelworks' very beginnings to nearly its closure in 1999. Jean recalls in remarkable detail the big and small events of 20th century life: school during World War I, the growth of Mayfield and Newcastle, domestic and social life, work as a midwife in the slums of Sydney, life in the country towns of Warialda and Moree, World War II, and a rocky marriage bringing up four children. But Jean's earliest years in far north-western NSW were for many years a mystery to her. When the silence surrounding that time was finally broken, Jean was devastated. Mayfield Girl is Jean's brave and honest account of coming to terms with her troubled childhood.


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Jean Sharp grew up in working class Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW, in the shadow of the BHP steelworks. Her life spanned the steelworks' very beginnings to nearly its closure in 1999. Jean recalls in remarkable detail the big and small events of 20th century life: school during World War I, the growth of Mayfield and Newcastle, domestic and social life, work as a midwife in the Jean Sharp grew up in working class Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW, in the shadow of the BHP steelworks. Her life spanned the steelworks' very beginnings to nearly its closure in 1999. Jean recalls in remarkable detail the big and small events of 20th century life: school during World War I, the growth of Mayfield and Newcastle, domestic and social life, work as a midwife in the slums of Sydney, life in the country towns of Warialda and Moree, World War II, and a rocky marriage bringing up four children. But Jean's earliest years in far north-western NSW were for many years a mystery to her. When the silence surrounding that time was finally broken, Jean was devastated. Mayfield Girl is Jean's brave and honest account of coming to terms with her troubled childhood.

30 review for Mayfield Girl: A woman's search for mother's love: A memoir of Newcastle and country NSW

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Brooks

    Really recommend this to anyone interested in the momentous period of growth in Newcastle and Regional NSW from the turn of the century, the two great wars, and the industrialisation of Newcastle. Well put together, touching, and incredibly interesting insight into what I always believe is the extraordinary lives of assumed ordinary people.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I really enjoyed this book. It is an engrossing account of a woman's life from the 1920s in Newcastle to the 1930s in Sydney and the 1940s and 50s in Warialda and Moree NSW. Jean tells the story of her struggles with honesty and humour. Its a very interesting story and I highly recommend it. I really enjoyed this book. It is an engrossing account of a woman's life from the 1920s in Newcastle to the 1930s in Sydney and the 1940s and 50s in Warialda and Moree NSW. Jean tells the story of her struggles with honesty and humour. Its a very interesting story and I highly recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steven Crick

    Beautifully written and captivating, this is one of the best memoirs I’ve read. It’s also great to see one written about a woman from that period of history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Cook

    A memoir about a woman growing up in Mayfield and other NSW suburbs. If you live in Newcastle and are interested in life in the 1900's you will enjoy some part of this book. What I liked about the book: - This book certainly sparked discussions with my granparents of life in Newcastle in early to mid 1900's - There was detailed paragraphs on what life was like, imagery of the streets and towns and the social class systems - Interesting - Scenery - Photography was excellent - The hardships people went th A memoir about a woman growing up in Mayfield and other NSW suburbs. If you live in Newcastle and are interested in life in the 1900's you will enjoy some part of this book. What I liked about the book: - This book certainly sparked discussions with my granparents of life in Newcastle in early to mid 1900's - There was detailed paragraphs on what life was like, imagery of the streets and towns and the social class systems - Interesting - Scenery - Photography was excellent - The hardships people went through were explained quite well - family life, relationships - There was some twists and turns in the story that kept you reading. What I didn't like about the book: - I understand this was compiled from diary entries by the son. I think he tried to keep the stories in original form but feel it would have be easier to read if it was edited a bit further - Jean's jealousy and unhappiness was quite repetitive and I felt there was no reflection until the very end which was a bit frustrating.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheba Boyd

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katie Wiehahn

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Barnett

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ludmilla Sneesby

  9. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gemma

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kahlia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Bell

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julia Durie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Olariaga

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Sherry

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chantal Roberts

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Daniels

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tink Hudson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beats

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amands

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Smythe

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Ferguson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Niel Barry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kirrily Thornton-parkes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Walsh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Taylor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jane

  30. 5 out of 5

    Enyaw Tterrab

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