Chrissie's Reviews > Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
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's review
Sep 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: bio, australia, history, kids, audible, 2015-read
Recommended to Chrissie by: Anne
Read from February 20 to 21, 2015

As a description of the persecution of Aborigines in Australia, this is an important book to have read. An interesting and clear presentation of the facts.

The book is about three half-caste aboriginal girls placed in the Moore River Native Settlement outside Perth. They were taken against both the wishes of the girls themselves and their families. This was a common practice, not at all a onetime exception. Half castes, children of aboriginal mothers and white fathers, that being most usually the case, were considered "smarter" than pure Aborigines. They were taken to so-called settlements/schools to be taught how to be less aboriginal, how to be more European. But why? So that they could be shaped into more useful servants for the British settlers. The three girls, aging from nine to fifteen, run away from the settlement where they had been imprisoned. Let’s call them prisons because that is what they were. There were bars on the windows and completely fenced in. These three girls escaped and ran home. How is this possible, walking alone, barefoot without the simplest equipment, without food, with all Australia searching for them? This walk took almost nine weeks and is the longest walk in the history of the Australian Outback. This is not fiction. It is history. And it is shocking.

A brief history of the foreign settlement of Australia is given. Information is given also about the "Rabbit-Proof Fence", originally constructed in 1907 to stop the invasion of rabbits into Western Australia from the East. Molly, the oldest of the three girls lives in a station in charge of the supervision of said fence in the northwestern desert area of Western Australia. Her step-father’s employment is care of this fence. So the idea was to follow that fence homeward.

Documented police files are quoted. The statements are shocking in their total nonchalance for the three girls. They are things to be possessed and used, not human beings. Shocking! This is the history that must be acknowledged by all.

The book is straightforward and clear. It presents information that should be known.

The landscape is described by naming vegetation and fauna specific for the terrain, but such flora and fauna are foreign to me so I could not picture its beauty.

I was not enthralled with the audiobook's narration by Rachael Mazza. The narration is fast, the exciting parts even more so, perhaps in an effort particularly to increase the melodrama of the events. I feel the events speak for themselves. I don't appreciate the added drama. Maybe others do. I found the Australian dialect difficult to follow, and some of the aboriginal terms are not fully explained.
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Reading Progress

02/17/2015 marked as: own-unlistened
02/20/2015 marked as: currently-reading
02/21/2015 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I have not read this, but I've seen the movie. It was touching.

Chrissie It seems to be worth reading.... Do you agree?

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I agree!

Chrissie Thanks for your help!

message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara It is a pleasure!
Try to see the film if you can.

Chrissie That is difficult.

message 7: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan I'll bet this is great. I loved the film!

It would be extra hard for you, Chrissie, because much of the movie is subtitled.

Chrissie Lisa, neither Per nor I do films any more. We used to do French ones when we were in Brussels and trying to learn French. I am quite simply not a film person. It is really not even related to the subtitles. We do not look at TV either. I mean it has been years since I have looked at TV!

message 9: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Chrissie, Yes I know you never watch tv and I thought you watched films very rarely and sometimes not at all. I watch both. But, like you, books/reading, and dogs, and for me to some extent, walking and nature, we share those interests!!

message 10: by Lisa (last edited Feb 16, 2015 10:50PM) (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan I was just thinking that even if you were interested, your vision issues might keep you from enjoying this one. I loved it though and would like to read the book.

Chrissie I am debating it because you can get two books for one credit now at Audible. This is one of the books you can choose, but the only other one that looks interesting is Man on Wire. Yet BOTH are extremely short, so I am still thinking.

message 12: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Chrissie, Is that typical, that the free books are short?

Chrissie No, not at all.

message 14: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Chrissie wrote: "No, not at all."


Chrissie So you think I should get this? Man on Wire doesn't seem bad and it could be interesting to know more about about it since I loved Let the Great World Spin. The sale will end soon. I must decide.

Chrissie I went and got them. You always get a credit back if you don't like something. So why not?

message 17: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Chrissie wrote: "I went and got them. You always get a credit back if you don't like something. So why not?"

That's such a good deal and it's great customer service too.

Chrissie Yes, I do like audible even if they are part of Amazon. Very friendly people. They say they want to be better than you expect.

message 19: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Great attitude!!! (I do miss the old Goodreads. Sorry but I seem compelled to occasionally say that.)

Chrissie ;0)

message 21: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan I will strongly recommend the film RABBIT PROOF FENCE. It is well made and equally moving.

message 22: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Adding this

message 23: by Chrissie (last edited Feb 21, 2015 12:45PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chrissie Dhanaraj, I am just not a movie person but I do think it might be better to see the landscape.

I want to thank you all for liking my review. I want to read a long book so I don't have to write a review immediately......

Angela, you should.

Maureen You summed this up nicely. It wasn't much of a read, but it was important to know about.

Chrissie Maureen, thanks. You summed it up one succinct sentence, and that is better than me.

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