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Butterfly Song

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Tarena Shaw has just finished her law degree but isn't sure she wants to be a lawyer after all. What place does a black lawyer have in a white legal system? Does everyone in Sydney feel like a turtle without a shell?

Drawn to Thursday Island, the home of her grandparents, Tarena is persuaded by her family to take on her first case. Part of the evidence is a man with a guita
paperback, 292 pages
Published 2005 by penguin
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Catherine Maughan
Oct 27, 2012 Catherine Maughan rated it really liked it
Butterfly Song is a beautiful book that is easy to read. I kept wondering if Terri Janke was writing a biographical novel because of the similarities between herself and her character Tarena - both Meriam people and both lawyers. The doubts that Tarena has about herself as a lawyer - are they doubts shared by Terri, a very successful lawyer?

Butterfly Song raises important questions about the ownership of Indigenous artifacts. The story made me think about how artifacts, that are held in univers
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Stunning. The descriptive passages are deft and evocative of a part of Australia that few of us know much about.

The setting is provoking (law school before Mabo - as a post Mabo law student, I find the setting marvellous) and the themes brilliant. This is totally going on my 101 list, because what is in this book - from the examples of how Indigenous people are treated over and over (such as her experience in the court room) to the pre-Mabo experience, which is so very important for a post Mabo
May 17, 2011 Che!sea rated it really liked it
the front cover shows that this book is going to be about a butterfly and its adventure around the world.Postcards also show that there is going to be travelling in this story.The blurb explains that Tarena Shaw has just finished her Law Degree but she is not really sure that she should go on and be a lawyer after all.

after reading the first page i wondered if there would be a problem during this book. i started to read the second page and found out that living on an island for a long tome can l
Jan 10, 2015 Jo rated it liked it
I found this an interesting read, reminding me that not everyone approaches things the same way I do (for example, my experience of university was very different from that of the main character). The basic idea of the story is also very intriguing, and the central characters are likeable and sympathetic. However, I found the pace of the book very slow, and some of the descriptions and dialogue felt a bit twee or superficial.
Jan 02, 2015 Theresa rated it really liked it
The interwoven stories of 3 women from different generations of a Torres Strait Islander family. It raises lots of issues of racism and inequality but doesn't feel angry like, say, The Boundary by Nicole Watson. An interesting legal mystery of sorts propels the family history narrative. And the setting is beautifully depicted - I felt like I was in Cairns especially, and TI too.
Lorielle Cortes
May 24, 2015 Lorielle Cortes rated it really liked it
Good easy read, loved the going back and forth in the timeline. The ending was predictable but I enjoyed this book
Jan 10, 2013 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-library
I really liked this book, devoured it in just over a day. A beautiful story, beautifully told.
Aug 06, 2012 Jess added it
Great book. Didn't want to put it down as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The story was great and truly inspiring even though it was fiction.
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“I long for my mother’s smile. For one of my dad’s adventures. For my brother, my sister, my aunties, uncles and cousins. Friendliness and smiling are not part of the code of conduct here. There are no wall-to-wall smiles. Only the open-edged statement. Terra Nullius. I have got terra nullius of the brain. They have got terra nullius of the heart.” 0 likes
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