Almanac Book Review – How the West was One: By Lucia Nardo



Review by Lucia Nardo



How the West was One is a nostalgic walking tour of thirty-nine ‘memoir stops’ in the West, with the tour guides being some now well-knowns –  and some of us more ordinary folk –  who grew up there. While most of the contributions encapsulate fond remembrances of early life in the West’s many suburbs, they also don’t flinch from describing the difficulties of those earlier times. Some stories give complete timelines of life, others a snapshot of events.


With each piece I read, my memories were triggered; sometimes recognising the locations mentioned and, surprisingly often, the people spoken of within the story. Most notable in these brief memoirs, is the commonality of memories of lasting friendship and enduring connection. Back then, we might not have been able to articulate the benefits of growing up where we did. Perhaps we didn’t appreciate what we had until we looked back with adult eyes to express it in this anthology. The reading is made more delightful by Mark Ryan’s illustrations, which, without exception, capture an essential aspect of each story.


This collection is a great read that will resonate with anyone who grew up in the West. Much as you might love the West today, it will leave you feeling nostalgic and appreciative of the West as it was. It’s likely that everyone in the world feels the same sentiments when thinking about where they spent their childhood and youth, but we had the good sense to do it on the right side of the Yarra River. In How the West Was One, that shines through.


How the West was One is a collection of memoirs of Melbourne’s Western Suburbs. Read more Read more and PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE.




  1. I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks Lucia.

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