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Once I was a Teenager: Growing up in the 50s and 60s in Australia and beyond

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Remember those long-ago days of fatty Sunday roasts, junket, climbing mulberry trees, hula hoops, mini-skirts, surfing and rock ‘n’ roll? The advice your mother gave you to ‘Wear clean knickers in case you’re in a car accident.’ Her threats of ‘Wait until your father gets home’ or her warning, ‘No nice man will marry you if you eat with your mouth open.’ When the Strather Remember those long-ago days of fatty Sunday roasts, junket, climbing mulberry trees, hula hoops, mini-skirts, surfing and rock ‘n’ roll? The advice your mother gave you to ‘Wear clean knickers in case you’re in a car accident.’ Her threats of ‘Wait until your father gets home’ or her warning, ‘No nice man will marry you if you eat with your mouth open.’ When the Strathern family moved to the coastal Sydney suburb of Collaroy,the neighbours feared the family of five and their dog in underpants would lower the tone on Pittwater Road. Whether they did or not is for you to decide as Jonquil Graham takes you on a return journey to childhood and teenage years that included sea voyages, modelling assignments, making a movie, Contiki trips, doing the hippie trail across Asia and hitch-hiking around Europe. Join her in this fun flashback to memories that will make you sigh and laugh aloud as she recalls life in Australia in the 50s and 60s.


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Remember those long-ago days of fatty Sunday roasts, junket, climbing mulberry trees, hula hoops, mini-skirts, surfing and rock ‘n’ roll? The advice your mother gave you to ‘Wear clean knickers in case you’re in a car accident.’ Her threats of ‘Wait until your father gets home’ or her warning, ‘No nice man will marry you if you eat with your mouth open.’ When the Strather Remember those long-ago days of fatty Sunday roasts, junket, climbing mulberry trees, hula hoops, mini-skirts, surfing and rock ‘n’ roll? The advice your mother gave you to ‘Wear clean knickers in case you’re in a car accident.’ Her threats of ‘Wait until your father gets home’ or her warning, ‘No nice man will marry you if you eat with your mouth open.’ When the Strathern family moved to the coastal Sydney suburb of Collaroy,the neighbours feared the family of five and their dog in underpants would lower the tone on Pittwater Road. Whether they did or not is for you to decide as Jonquil Graham takes you on a return journey to childhood and teenage years that included sea voyages, modelling assignments, making a movie, Contiki trips, doing the hippie trail across Asia and hitch-hiking around Europe. Join her in this fun flashback to memories that will make you sigh and laugh aloud as she recalls life in Australia in the 50s and 60s.

30 review for Once I was a Teenager: Growing up in the 50s and 60s in Australia and beyond

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I don' t know where I picked this one up, or why I wanted to read it. A girl telling about her life growing up in Australia. A biography about no one "famous", nor anyone I had ever heard about. But I gave it a chance. It just never really grabbed me. I did enjoy the stories of the parents, how they made up funny words, the mother's propensity for drama, their homelife with all the zany experiences the children had. For me the story felt condensed, incomplete. I'd get confused with the shuffling I don' t know where I picked this one up, or why I wanted to read it. A girl telling about her life growing up in Australia. A biography about no one "famous", nor anyone I had ever heard about. But I gave it a chance. It just never really grabbed me. I did enjoy the stories of the parents, how they made up funny words, the mother's propensity for drama, their homelife with all the zany experiences the children had. For me the story felt condensed, incomplete. I'd get confused with the shuffling around, I'd be in the midst of an adventure, which would abruptly end, and then another would start, and I'd flip back thinking I must have missed part of the first. Each little story had a ton of promise, but she never really "went there". Just when I started getting intrigued I'd be thrown into the middle of a new story. Towards the end, on her hippie excursion (which I never would have lasted through one hour much less all the months she did) I was just wanting to get to the last page. Another annoyance was the constant use of the Aussie slang, which while I realize she IS Australian, made the reading a bit difficult for me. After a while I just kind of gave up.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Minor

    Interesting to read about the 50's & 60's in Australia and comparing my midwest American "growing up" with Jonquil's. Fun read. Interesting to read about the 50's & 60's in Australia and comparing my midwest American "growing up" with Jonquil's. Fun read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jo Anne

    A very fun and exciting memoir of a young woman and her odd Australian family living through the 60s. Ms. Graham is incredibly well-traveled and it was at a time when the world was dangerous but not as bad as it is today. Her writing is clear and honest and loving towards her family. The kindle edition I bought has some photos but I wish they could have been bigger to see details better. Some of the Australian words aren't "translated" so I had to guess but it wasn't a hindrance. I'd recommend t A very fun and exciting memoir of a young woman and her odd Australian family living through the 60s. Ms. Graham is incredibly well-traveled and it was at a time when the world was dangerous but not as bad as it is today. Her writing is clear and honest and loving towards her family. The kindle edition I bought has some photos but I wish they could have been bigger to see details better. Some of the Australian words aren't "translated" so I had to guess but it wasn't a hindrance. I'd recommend this book especially for those of us Baby Boomers who lived through the Beatles, Rolling Stones and hippies but also for you kids jealous of our glorious times.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Estenes

    Good read I found this book very entertaining. The characters were well developed and the story line kept moving. At times I felt like I was right there watching and experiencing it all with the family. They were a bit crazy and lovely people who knew how to have a good time. What really came through it all was, they were family and they stayed family through thick and thin. I am hoping to find ms. Graham 's next book so I can accompany her once again on her marriage and adoption adventures. Good read I found this book very entertaining. The characters were well developed and the story line kept moving. At times I felt like I was right there watching and experiencing it all with the family. They were a bit crazy and lovely people who knew how to have a good time. What really came through it all was, they were family and they stayed family through thick and thin. I am hoping to find ms. Graham 's next book so I can accompany her once again on her marriage and adoption adventures.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hermine McKneight

    A good fun read! Brought back some memories. Australia must have been morally ahead of us here in the US Midwest!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ngdecker

    I enjoyed reading this book a lot, but had some mixed feelings about it. It was a little difficult to read due to all the Australian words and slang. Sometimes I had little idea of what they meant. The author's style was also rather disjointed. I think she must be about 10 years younger than I am, so some of the things were fun to read about and brought back memories. On the whole, her life was extremely different than mine was, but I did like the book. I think her next book of adopting children I enjoyed reading this book a lot, but had some mixed feelings about it. It was a little difficult to read due to all the Australian words and slang. Sometimes I had little idea of what they meant. The author's style was also rather disjointed. I think she must be about 10 years younger than I am, so some of the things were fun to read about and brought back memories. On the whole, her life was extremely different than mine was, but I did like the book. I think her next book of adopting children sounds very interesting.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tarr

    VISUALLY EXPLICIT. VIBRANTLY ALIVE. For both the young at heart and the young in age, this book is a delightful rollicking read. Between Australia, New Zealand and Europe we effortlessly slip into the life of a young girl with her big dreams, idol worshiping, and spectacular adventures as she carves out her place in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, and the understated humour is just beautiful. This work is visually explicit, and the colours and smells are vibrantly alive. A brill VISUALLY EXPLICIT. VIBRANTLY ALIVE. For both the young at heart and the young in age, this book is a delightful rollicking read. Between Australia, New Zealand and Europe we effortlessly slip into the life of a young girl with her big dreams, idol worshiping, and spectacular adventures as she carves out her place in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, and the understated humour is just beautiful. This work is visually explicit, and the colours and smells are vibrantly alive. A brilliant read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amazonianz

    I grew up in a roughly similar period and to me this book was a fascinating reminder of so much. At the same time, Jonquil’s parents differed so much from mine, there was much that was refreshingly new. Altogether a good mixture that provided much entertainment. The content jumps around a lot, leaving some threads dangling. Stronger editing would improve it. But it’s still good reading, particularly for insights into the 1950s and 1960s.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Normally I can finish a good read in a few days. This book, however, took much longer. I found that I couldn't quite "get into it", partially because I didn't understand a lot of the Australian words and slang used throughout. The writing seemed disjointed at times, and couldn't keep my interest. I thought this book was only an average read, and I'm not sure I'd spend too much time recommending it. Normally I can finish a good read in a few days. This book, however, took much longer. I found that I couldn't quite "get into it", partially because I didn't understand a lot of the Australian words and slang used throughout. The writing seemed disjointed at times, and couldn't keep my interest. I thought this book was only an average read, and I'm not sure I'd spend too much time recommending it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean E. Mader

    Positive and charming view of life of a young girl as she grows and experiences life with her family. I enjoyed reading about Australia, the author's voyages to England and Europe with her family and her recollections of the times. Positive and charming view of life of a young girl as she grows and experiences life with her family. I enjoyed reading about Australia, the author's voyages to England and Europe with her family and her recollections of the times.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    a delightful growing up memoir of 50s and 60s Australia. Tween Jonquil screamed for Liberace. She grew into rock like the Beatles and then followed their trail blazed to tour India and central Asia. she also hitchhiked about Europe. cute and entertaining.

  12. 5 out of 5

    James B. Kuminecz

    Interesting and funny. Quite a family history and afresh look at the 50's and 60's. Was a light and an international story of a young family. Interesting and funny. Quite a family history and afresh look at the 50's and 60's. Was a light and an international story of a young family.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Wonderful! Very British but still very Aussie too. She tells her story in the context of major historical events and their impact on society.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Lane

    “No nice man will marry you if you eat with your mouth open.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Very interesting story , If you like true stories I recommend that you give it a shot .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Ray

    This isn't badly written and edited, but I abandoned it at the 60% point. To me, most of it read like a book-length essay of "what I did on my summer vacation," and it just wasn't very interesting. This isn't badly written and edited, but I abandoned it at the 60% point. To me, most of it read like a book-length essay of "what I did on my summer vacation," and it just wasn't very interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave Clark

  18. 5 out of 5

    lorrainecampbell

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

  20. 5 out of 5

    greg shepherd

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carmel Byrne

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ann T. Walsh

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas Duque

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Rader

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annesley Shirley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Xiaoguo Ge

  29. 5 out of 5

    gail fuller

  30. 4 out of 5

    Meena

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