Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)'s Reviews > The Dead of the Night

The Dead of the Night by John Marsden
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Jun 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, australian, childhood-revisited, audience-young-adult, contemporary, own-it-hard-copy, war, setting-australia
Read from June 08 to 09, 2012 , read count: 4

Plot summary: Following the invasion of Australia, Ellie and her friends are back in their secret valley, Hell, and dealing with the loss they suffered at the end of Tomorrow, When the War Began. But they can't stay in Hell forever. As colonists start to arrive in the Wirrawee area, they decide to take action. They're still not giving in without a fight.

Thoughts: As with Tomorrow, When the War Began, it's been years and years since I read this. I liked it. A lot. But it's never really stuck with me quite as much as the first book. Where TWTWB is about fear, this is about anger. Anger at themselves and the actions they've taken. Anger at the other guerillas they come into contact with. Anger at the invaders and the colonists. Anger with each other.

In so many ways, The Dead of the Night is Australian history repeating itself. Okay, so there are slightly more explosions than there were when Europeans first settled in Australia in the late eighteenth century. But so much of that anger, that "why are they here?", that "it's OUR land" attitude could be equally applicable to a story about a group of Indigenous Australians hiding out from European colonists.

It has a wonderful mix of the every day and guerilla action - despite the war, life is still the same as it ever was. They're still teenagers - they fall in love, they fight, they have inappropriate emotional reactions, they get upset when adults don't take them seriously. And it's this, more than anything, that brings realism to the story for me.

Still heartbreaking at times, but without as much of the "Holy crap, this could happen to me" factor of the first book.
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Reading Progress

06/08/2012 page 46
17.0%
06/08/2012 page 150
55.0% ""We were just ordinary teenagers, so ordinary we were boring. Overnight they'd pulled the roof off our lives. And after they'd pulled off the roof they'd come in and torn down the curtains, ripped up the furniture, burnt the house and thrown us into the night where we'd been forced to run and hide and live like wild animals.""
04/22/2016 marked as: read

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