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The Golden Land

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  70 reviews
With a loving husband and two small children, Natalie is happy with her lot in life. While helping her mother move house, she finds a little box containing a Burmese artefact. When Natalie learns its unique history in a letter left by her great-great uncle, it sparks off an interest in its country of origin and her uncle’s unfulfilled plans.

Her investigations collide with
Paperback, First, 400 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Pan Macmillan Australia
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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I don't recall ever reading a Di Morrissey book I didn't like, so I was surprised when almost straight away it didn't click with me. The dialogue between the main character and her husband was terrible, really wooden and extremely forced. This being the case, it made me be a harsher judge of everything else to come. It was good for me to come across a subject I did not know much about as I love learning, but it was told through a dull main character. Most of the dialogue was boring in fact, ...more
Olivia Moore
Sep 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
I hated this novel. I was actually shocked about how badly this was written. I have never read a Di Morrissey book and when it was our next book in bookclub I thought I would put my book snobbery aside and read one of Australia's most famous modern authors. I wish I hadn't. The language was so wooden and lacklusture I skimmed through the last half of the book just so I could start my next novel in my "to read" pile.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
With the exception of The Opal Desert, I’m afraid the last few novels from Di Morrissey have not been for me. I adore all her older books though. The Golden Land is just an ok, easy read, and if you like learning about the political difficulties that are faced in Burma, you might enjoy it, but for me I was not gripped by this one. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and felt at times it was a bit of a slog to keep going. Disappointing…….

Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I agree with previous reviewers that this book is not great literature, however, I do think it's a good vehicle for introducing Burma / Myanmar through the eyes of an Australian woman. Just reading guides books does not convey as much of the human warmth and special place Buddhism has in Burmese society - so despite the admittedly wooden prose, I still thought it was worth reading.
Jacquie South
I have not read anything by Di Morrissey before, and if this book is indicative of her work I probably won't bother reading another.
I conversations between characters were so forced and wooden it was painful. The characters were shallow and not particularly interesting or believable. The storyline veered between boring and rather unbelievable. Overall I felt like I was being force fed something (information about the plight of Burma and the Burmese people) I really wasn't interested in, in a
I almost gave up reading Di Morrissey’s The Golden Land but in the end I kept going. It wasn't a riveting read by any means but it was an interesting look at the Burmese community in Australia, of 21st century Myanmar (Burma), its people and political struggles. The story starts with the illustration of a special illustrated Kammavaca which is given to the last king of Burma, Thibaw, and is eventually sold by a member of the royal family under duress. When Natalie uncovers the kammavaca, she ...more
Vikki Barker
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This was my first Di Morrissey novel. Perhaps I should have read an earlier one instead?
I found the dialogue between the husband and wife (Mark and Natalie) too lovey-dovey and wishy-washy. It was quite fake and annoying really.
Alot of the dialogue was repeated many times during the book.
None of the characters stood out and grabbed my attention. There were a few parts in the story that picked up pace a bit, but then it fell flat again.
Having said all this, I still finished the book, which means
Briony Sheather
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
The parts of the book that were set in Burma were interesting and insightful. Anything set on the Gold Coast seemed contradictory, like they were written by an amateur author rather than someone with Morrissey's vast experience. This was the first book of hers I have read and will probably be the last.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm wondering if the editor went on holidays. The text was passive, dialogue used as information dumps and the characters incredibly one dimensional. I know this author is capable of better writing. Were the deadlines too strict? This story had glimpses of brilliance at the start and the end but the middle certainly sagged.
Nadia Lynch
Jan 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Half way through and finding this text excruciating. It is very slow and the character of Natalie is dull and boring. The conversational elements of the text with other key characters are extremely difficult to read as they just do not seem genuine-like a badly written play. Have given up on this one!
Kellie Hunt
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
The latest edition to the Di Morrissey collection, I found this novel less engaging than others I have read by her. While the book was easy to read and similar to the journeys Di portrays in most of her books, it didn't captivate me this time around
Keren Andrews
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: do-morrissey
I love the fact that when you read a Di Morrissey book, you will learn something! I loved reading about Burma, along with the story of Natalie and her family. My mother in law is from Burma, so this was particularly interesting for me. This is my favourite of Di's books so far.
Catherine Fleming
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Disappointing , I have read all of Di's books and thought this particular book was without substance . :(
Kathy S
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It is not the best written book by di Morrissey. Quite simple language and naive in some ways. A bit of propaganda about Aung SAN Su Kyi and the pro democracy movement. However having recently visited Myanmar it was certainly interesting to read about the country and culture particularly as she mentions many of the places that we visited which are on the tourist route. Written in 2012 a lot seems to have changed in the country and whilst there is still undoubted poverty the country is moving ...more
Carinya Kappler
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a readable entertaining novel with quite a marked political message. Burma is a mysterious land, not a place where visitors or activists are welcomed. The author Di Morrissey uses her story of an inherited Burmese Artifact to illustrate the internal tensions and discrimination of minority groups which occur in Burma today.
Natalie is the Australian who makes the decision to return this treasure to its rightful owner. This is not a simple process. It is a decision that tests the will and
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. other reviews suggested it wasnt up to the authors usual writing but I love reading about Burmese culture. It was a good storyline, although different to what I expected from the blurb. I expected a marriage breakup which is why she went there- for self healing and a change in direction. Maybe that was my life! However the relationships were a sideline and not the main focus of the book which is fine. This was an easy book to read and I learnt a lot. I was left with the ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A gentle exploration of stressors in solid young marriages with children, dreams, health crises and financial disruptions to consider alongside the need for parallel individual growth of the adults.
The novel is used as a vehicle to set out some alarming concers regarding the history and modern genocide issues in present-day Myanmar (Burma) which ha e apparently become paramount to the author and her and her family.
Sincerely accomplished with the usual rounded finesse of this author. She is well
Kat Ashworth
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A surprising and magical ending, worth getting through the middle. While well written and a necessary storyline of reality for many women with a growing family and day to day dilemma. It lacked the adventure and intrigue of the beginning and end. After finishing however I could very much see the import of the middle. And the satisfaction. It brings to think that such wonderful twists of fate can happen to almost anyone, if your willing to stay open, curious and kind.
Joy Norman
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It made me think of what we don't see until we are really inquisitive how fascinating it would be to fall upon this fascinating artefact!! The writing was clear, easy to read and also the black and white art that is it. Normally I would find this off putting however this added on the book . The family pulled together and participated in any they could.I think I might go and see if I have a kammavacas!. Great book great writer I would recommend this book to anyone
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It started out dead boring and I was close to not finishing it. All of the plot about her life in Australia was truly abysmal. But once she went to Burma it picked up quite a bit. While I enjoyed this latter part of the book it was not enough to overcome the issues of the former. If the first two thirds were condensed down to a single chapter the book would be much improved.
Jay Jay
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I found this book quite drawn out and lack luster to be honest. Enjoyed it to start with but half way through the book thought something exciting must happen soon but no, can't say I enjoyed it that much really I'm sorry to say but there was some general knowledge of Burma that I did gain. This author does do her ground work before writing her books so that part is good.
Vicki Crossley
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
The first part of the book is rich in the history of Myanmar, which I enjoyed. But the story of Natalie and her home life was a bit drawn out. What made the book a little disappointing was the dialogue between characters. Di has not done this well. However it’s an easy read an an education in Myanmar history.
May 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
The worst book I have ever read.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Another potentially great story told badly-interesting part in last half., Very frustrating, keep hoping she’ll get this one right.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it, so cleverly blending the personal story and the history of modern Burma and 'The Lady'.
Chiro Pipashito T H
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice description of the struggle of the Burmese people.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Okay, so where to start? This was much worse than I thought it would be. No idea why she is so popular. Kimberley Freeman does this sort of story so much better. But anyway....

Basic story is about a woman (married with 2 young kids and another on the way) who finds a kammavaca, a Burmese artefact with script and painting on it, in some of her great uncle's stuff that is to be thrown away. She rescues it and discovers it has some value and an interesting history. Right, so that sounds
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Enjoyed the concept, however far too much of the storyline was repeated. Felt like yelling "you've already told that", again and again.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to read this book apart from the obvious it being centred around a story from Myanmar (a country I have visited and love for so many reasons) , but also as Morrissey is know for writing novels at least partly centred overseas, a concept I would love to pick up myself in my various travels.

Unfortunately this book didn't give the inspiration I was looking for. To be blunt, it was one of the worst novels I have ever read.

The writing was horrible. The main character is dull and boring. Her
I listened to this as an audio book, and was disappointed to listen to a male reader narrating the story of a female's journey. Every time he tried to talk as a female he made her sound whingy, and he made the male sound weasley, and I kept expecting the husband to be a bad person.

Overall, the content was very interesting and well presented, giving us an idea of what life for the Burmese was like, and giving the history of the country, however, I found this book more factual than representative
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Di Morrissey (born 18 March 1943 in Wingham, New South Wales) is one of Australia's most popular female novelists. She grew up in the remote surrounds of Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia.

Growing up she counted famous Australian actor Chips Rafferty as a close mentor and friend who helped provide for her and her mother after the death of her father as a child, sending them overseas to