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Swords and Crowns and ...
Ruth Park
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Swords and Crowns and Rings

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  15 reviews
She was the banker's daughter, a highborn, golden beauty. He was a grocer's son, strong and proud, but fate had masked his strength and pride with a form that set him forever apart from other men. Compelling need drew them together, A bewitching fantasy encircled and sustained them. Then the Great Depression swept across Australia to impoverish the rich, humble the proud, ...more
Unknown Binding, 435 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1977)
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I have just started reading Ruth Park after all these years. I knew of her books but had just never ventured to pick one up. After listening to an interview with Ruth Park on a podcast from ABC Radio National, I liked the sound of her explanations behind her novels, so took the plunge.

One of those epic books that follows almost what seems a life time, and although I think Jack is only in about his mid twenties at the end it begins with his childhood and his first adventure with the girl next doo
I only became acquainted with this author's work earlier this year when I read 'The Harp in the South 'trilogy. This work is equally evocative. I became addicted to the book and couldn't wait to find out what each chapter had to offer. Must be honest and say if you are after a cheerful read dodge this little number.
Park is brilliant at describing the early years of the 20th century. Life was grim but even more so for Jacky Hannah, a dwarf and Cushie Moy, his childhood friend and eventually lover
Kaye McSpadden
I read this book when it first came out, over 30 years ago, and I remember love LOVE LOVING it. The story of Jack, a young man with dwarfism in Australia during the depression, and his childhood love, Cushie, is engaging and enchanting. And although Park did a great job of depicting the wild and harsh setting of Australia of the 20s and 30s, the themes of the story -- including loneliness, cruelty, kindness, resilience, love, and loyalty -- are universal.

Having now read it three decades later, I
Swords and Crowns and Rings is the enchanting story of Jackie Hanna, a dwarf, and Cushie Moy, whose friendship as children matures into a love that survives hardship, misunderstanding and a social chasm that would separate lesser mortals. They spend their childhood in an unremarkable Australian country town before World War I, where Jackie grows up believing that he can do and be anything. His step-father, Jerry Hanna, (‘the Nun’), is the rock on which this solid family life is based; Peggy Hann ...more
The five stars I've given this book indicate how much I enjoyed the story. This certainly isn't a great book, but, in spite of its length, I enjoyed it all. It seemed like a mixture of Great Expectations and The Worst Hard Time, set in Australia. An unusual aspect of the story is the physical deformity of the protagonist, an achondroplastic dwarf. Although somewhat like a soap opera, the story does revivify depression-era New South Wales, bring to life the politics of the time, and introduce a f ...more
Book Bazaar
A wonderful story which shows how people coped through the depression in NSW. Great characters and descriptions.
Book Club have given their best marks of the year:
I love this book, the story and characters are timeless and endearing. I loved it when I read it for school over 20 years ago, last year when I finally got a copy and retread it, and this week reading it for book club. Park is very verbose but that is some of its charm. It is one of the novels that has made me fall in love with reading.
This book would win all the awards going if it had been written this year. It stands the test of time well. This was one of the first books I read when I first came to Australia 30 years ago. And I still love it. If you haven't read any Ruth Park, do yourself a favour! And if you haven't read any in a while,likewise.
Made me thankful I wasn't around in the 1920s and 30s. Thought provoking stuff, Sydney still has homeless problem. Got to a happy ending after a lot of bad stuff. Love and friendship wins the day.
Anthony Dalton
Read this over 30 years ago when I was about 15, and it absolutely blew me away. I just logged on to see if anyone else enjoyed it like I did. Definitely time for a re-read I reckon.
Sally Embury-thomas
A little predictable but nonetheless interesting reading. A heartbreaking look at the events during the depression.
fantastic hobbit x Australian history, really engaging, cannot believe I haven't heard of this ruth park previously!
Rhonda Korda
Great story - well worth reading. Should be up there with the Australian classic.
Another staggeringly "cant put down" story by Ruth Park.
Really great story.
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Ruth Park was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. She was born in Auckland, and her family later moved to Te Kuiti further south in the North Island of New Zealand, where they lived in isolated areas.

During the Great Depression her working class father worked on bush roads, as a driver, on relief work, as a sawmill hand, and finally shifted back to Auckland as counc
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