Zellie Bullen with Freda Marnie Nicholls
Allen and Unwin
Publication date: March 2015
Reviewed by Donna Clark
This is an inspirational true story of Zellie Bullen, a young Australian woman who came from an underprivileged family who followed her dream to work with animals. She was deserted by her father when she was young, has faced more tragedy than the average person and overcame depression from the personal loss she had suffered.
Realising she had an affinity to animals at an early age, Zellie’s career began at Movieworld as a stunt woman. She then went on to become one of the most successful animal trainers in Australia. She has had, and continues to have, an extraordinary life working with famous people such as Antonio Banderos Princess Zahra as well as working in the film industry with the piglets in the film “Babe” and Stephen Speilberg’s film, “War Horse”. Her descriptions of these experiences are insightful and make you feel you are living the experiences alongside her.
Written with her sister, rural journalist Freda Nichols, this memoir gives you hope that you can overcome many hurdles in life and still live an amazing life. This book moved me to tears at times but mostly I am in awe of Zellie. She now lives in the Gold Coast hinterland with her husband Craig Bullen (from Bullen’s Lion Safari for those old enough to remember). She has a son, aptly named Colt and a large menagerie of animals. Her love of animals is evident in every part of this easy to read book.
Her advice for a happy life is stop and smell the roses, follow your passion and believe in yourself. If you do this you can achieve anything!
Recommended for those looking for an uplifting and realistic true story.