'Born in 1894, Albert Facey lived the rough frontier life of a sheep farmer, survived the gore of Gallipoli, raised a family through the Depression and spent sixty years with his beloved wife, Evelyn. Despite enduring hardships we can barely imagine today, Facey always saw his life as a "fortunate" one. A true classic of Australian literature, his simply written autobiography is an inspiration. It is the story of a life lived to the full – the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man.' (Penguin Australia abstract)
Mini-series based on the best-selling autobiography by A.B. Facey, tracing his life from the late nineteenth century through Gallipoli and into marriage, fatherhood, and later life.
The mini-series was successful on Australian television, but Moran is unflattering in his appraisal: 'The mini-series was in effect a lovingly authentic visual and aural recreation of the novel. The trouble was that what was a pleasure to read on the printed page was pretty much insufferably boring to watch on screen. The narrative was far too anecdotal and the performances of brothers Dominic and Benedict Sweeney as Facey were dull.'
Payne concludes his review: 'Reading A Fortunate Life is a humbling, educational experience. The early chapters describe an Australia I have never seen so close up before. The Gallipoli section is a haunting portrait of man gone mad. From what follows one can draw Facey's prescription for a fortunate life – family love, and hard, satisfying work.'