An incomplete work of genius. A quintessentially Australian story, two young children from England and Greece respectively are sent to the outback ofAn incomplete work of genius. A quintessentially Australian story, two young children from England and Greece respectively are sent to the outback of Australia to escape WW11. In the care (or lack thereof) of Mrs. Essie Bulpit, the children, Gil & Eirene, become close friends and allies against this strange new world they inhabit. The story is told largely by Eirene and details the slow but steady erosion of her Greek cultural identity and heritage by an ignorant Australian population who are nevertheless trying to help. Eirene's refugee status is pitiful - the daughter of an Australian woman and her Greek husband/lover (?) who has been brought up in Greece, she is caught between 2 worlds and there is little understanding to be had here in Australia, supposedly a place of safety, a sanctuary.
A lost manuscript by White published posthumously, it is a difficult read with little conclusion to satisfy the reader. But a beautiful example of how White worked at his manuscripts. So much of his characteristic voice is echoed here, if not polished enough to be a strong example. Worth the read, particularly for fans of White. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could but don't believe I can accurately give it 4 stars. A brilliant work-in-progress, but unfortunately just that - a work-in-progress....more