Bronwyn Rykiert's Reviews > Barra Creek

Barra Creek by Di Morrissey
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's review
Nov 15, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: family, audiobook, australian, friends
Read in July, 2009

his is my first Di Morrissey story and what a great one to start with. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is both sad and happy.

In the prologue it is 2003 and Lorna Munro is an old lady who suffers from memory loss at times and her eldest son has just put her in a aged care facility but she has a mission to find her old governess Sally and tell her some secrets that she has kept for a long time, she needs to unburden herself.

1962 South Island New Zealand, Sally Mitchell is 19 and has grown up on her parents sheep farm, they are part of the aristocracy of the area. Sally falls in love with the wrong man, Sean, an Irishman so her parents decide to send her to England to get her away from his influence. Sally and her best friend Pru start off on a journey of a lifetime, by going to Sydney first, but something happens and they end up trading their tickets to London and Pru goes home to New Zealand while Sally decides to take the position as governess to an outback family.

She arrives at Barra Creek, in North Queensland in a plane piloted by a Canadian, Donnie and is dressed to nines not really knowing what to expect. The house is very basic, but for 12 months she is here to teach and look after the children of John and Lorna Munro, Ian, Tommy and Marty. She also gets to teach some of the black children who live on the property. This is a year in which many things happen that change her life forever. She meets Rob McDonald, a contract musterer who spends a good deal of his time each year working at Barra Creek. John Munro is a heavy drinking, hard working and strict father. Lorna is a lady and has certain standards to keep up even in the bush.

Things happen, there are tragedies and the 12 months comes to an end and Sally goes back to New Zealand, ends up marrying a doctor, Hal Lee, who she originally met while spending a week in Darwin during the year she lived at Barra Creek. She keeps in spasmodic contact with the Munro’s and takes her children there on a holiday in 1976, she is divorced by then and tragedy stikes again while she is there – she thinks she is bad luck for this family.

It is a story that will make you think of it a little after you have finished it, at least it did me. Enjoy!

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