This was one of those rare little finds that you just can't put down. Jon Heather is one of those unforgettable characters. You feel his pain and ulti...moreThis was one of those rare little finds that you just can't put down. Jon Heather is one of those unforgettable characters. You feel his pain and ultimately you cheer when he feels at peace with living. (less)
“One evening in the driest grasses in the world, a child who was no stranger to her people, asked if anyone could find hope. The people of parable and...more“One evening in the driest grasses in the world, a child who was no stranger to her people, asked if anyone could find hope. The people of parable and prophecy pondered what was hopeless and finally declared they no longer knew what hope was. The clocks, tick-a-ty tock, looked as though they might run out of time. Luckily, the ghosts in the memories of the old folk were listening, and said anyone can find hope in the stories: the big stories and the little ones in between.”
Wright is an Aboriginal Australian, a member of the Waanyi nation, and she draws on the history and the oral tradition of her people to create a novel which is an incredible evocation of their way of life and which is written almost defiantly outside of the conventions of the Western literary canon.
At times this novel is overwhelming to read and I must admit that I did put this down and pick it up again several times, you need to work hard to get through this one and for me that removes the enjoyment somewhat of the story.
An epic set in the Gulf country of north-western Queensland, from where her people come, the novel tells of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance and centers on the powerful Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight’s renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other.
By any normal criteria the plotting is absurd, the narrative is all over the place and dozens of characters go missing somewhere in its pages. Perhaps this is where the beauty of this novel lies. Is it magic realism, is it stories or is it a dream?
Be prepared to invest time in reading this novel..perhaps a great train read where you have no distractions.(less)
Of a Boy is a moving tale of a boy trying to make sense of his world. One word describes this book for me – sadness. I read this book quite some time...moreOf a Boy is a moving tale of a boy trying to make sense of his world. One word describes this book for me – sadness. I read this book quite some time ago and when I began to write this I had a chance to go back and back and re-read this fabulous book. A few pages in and I quickly remembered the pure pleasure of reading this five star novel.
The book is set in 1977 and tells the story of Adrian McPhee, abandoned by his parents and left with his grandmother and uncle. Adrian is a shy boy scared of almost everything. Three children have recently disappeared in the neighborhood, the Metford children, this clearly echos the disappearance of the famous Beaumont Children.
Shortly after the disappearance of the Metford children, a twelve-year-old girl called Nicole moves in across the street from Adrian. She has no friends and doesn’t attend school, but she mystifies Adrian and he soon becomes obsessed with her as he is betrayed by his only friend Clinton.
The tragic ending stays with you long after you put the book down.
The book is infused with a kind of sadness, Hartnett says it is driven by her feeling that the world is a place in which “everything that you would really want to keep are the things that you lose”.
This novel is moving and gentle and remains one of my most loved stories, I am hoping very soon to pass this story onto my own daughter for her to cherish and love.(less)