Jo's Reviews > Carpentaria

Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
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Jan 13, 12

bookshelves: aww-challenge-2012
Read from January 01 to 07, 2012

I can see why Carpentaria won a Miles Franklin Award. It is a big book which tells an important story in a manner likely to be novel to many readers.

On its face, Carpentaria is the story of a town, Desperance, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, giving the reader an insight into tensions within the Aboriginal communities on the outskirts of the town and between them and the white people who live in the town itself. Underneath that, and far more importantly, it is a story about family, Country and Culture.

It was at first difficult for me to follow, as the first few chapters take an entirely non-linear path and at times appear somewhat unrelated. However, if the reader simply reads and accepts these chapters as separate stories, it soon becomes clear that they set the scene for the main events of the novel, as well as introducing many of the characters. Nothing is there by accident and no reading is wasted. The book is never entirely linear, but does become easier to follow, and the story easier to comprehend, as the reader learns more.

To try to explain more would give too much away. Let it suffice to say that Ms Wright's work is meticulous, and I suspect each word was placed with care. The reader is in safe hands.
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