Marianne's Reviews > The Lost Blackbird

The Lost Blackbird by Liza Perrat
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it was amazing

The Lost Blackbird is the sixth novel by Australian author, Liza Perrat. When their father falls down the stairs, Lucy and Charly Rivers have no concept of how radically their lives will change. The callous women who run the Easthaven Home for Girls are breathtakingly heartless: the food, inadequate and unpalatable, is withheld at the whim of their “carers”; punishments are ruthless. Lucy and Charly can only hope their mother, Annie will come for them soon.

When they are offered the opportunity to go to Australia, Lucy is initially reluctant. She worries they will be separated, and how will Annie find them? But it looks so inviting, and they are assured siblings will stay together.

Even at age ten, Lucy already knows to be wary of adults, sceptical of what they say, unwilling to trust them, but the ship journey, an incredibly idyllic sojourn full of good food and fun, blunts her distrustful instincts. She begins to believe they are headed for their own “Emerald City”.

Six weeks later, their arrival at the promised paradise turns out to be a brutal reality check. Lucy watches with horror as twins are pulled apart and sent to different destinations. She clutches her little sister, desperate to protect her, but Charly is sent to Wollongong, adopted by a couple, while Lucy is forced aboard a bus with thirty-one other children.

They travel through a dry, alien landscape, hearing raucous bird calls but not seeing even one kangaroo, to reach Seabreeze Farm in the Southern Highlands. They endure harsh conditions, being made to work hard for poor food rations and virtually no leisure, insulted and beaten.

A friend from Easthaven quips that they have travelled from one prison to another, to be treated like slaves. It’s a far cry from the wonderful destination they’d been told awaited them. Lucy hopes her little sister fares better. Adoption into a loving, caring family is surely the polar opposite of what she is experiencing? Will she ever see her again?

While Charly is given every physical comfort and the life that was promised back in England, she comes to realise that not everything is quite what it seems. She is subtly indoctrinated to believe a past that does not gel with her faint, faded memories.

Perrat’s extensive research is apparent in every chapter and, while many readers will know something of this generation of stolen children, her novel graphically illustrates the severity of the conditions, the physical and mental cruelty to which these innocent children were subjected by those appointed to provide their care, the scandalous cover-ups, the lies and betrayals. A powerful, heart-breaking read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by the author.
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Reading Progress

August 5, 2020 – Shelved
August 5, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
August 17, 2020 – Started Reading
August 18, 2020 –
August 19, 2020 –
August 19, 2020 –
August 20, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Excellent review, Marianne!

Marianne Thanks, Sharon.

message 3: by Dale (new)

Dale Harcombe Lovely review Marianne.

Marianne Thanks, Dale

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