National Year of Reading
Welcome to the official National Year of Reading 2012 book club. Discuss the book you voted for.
This book club is hosted by:
This book is intended for young adults, but though an adult may read it and appreciate the quality of the writing, it is not appropriate for its intended age group.
Such a litany of disasters to overtake a bookish 13 year old in only a few months! Charlie and Jasper are forced to wallow in a welter of disasters. Does this novel offer any form of hope for these poor individuals? Only if you count running away, like Jasper, Charlie's mother, Jasper's father and grandfather; alcoholism, sleeping out in the bush to avoid incest, arson to destroy the place of the incest or suicide to escape the incest and pregnancy.
A novel should offer alternatives and means of accessing support in order to grow and develop - there should be hope. The humour only highlights the tragedy, and Charlie's life at the end of the novel, spending nights in the bush with Eliza, only threatens further disasters in the future.
This novel explores a very unpleasant dystopia and offers a very jaundiced view of rural NSW in the late 1960s, early 1970's. It is a condemnation of school, family, church, community, welfare and police within a country town.
I realize that I am out of step with the prevailing views on what is appropriate for young adults, but novels for this age group should not emphasise hopelessness with no support, no positive role models and no outlook of improvement on the horizon.
As I love the ocean and light houses the cover first caught my eye. I read it as a softcover new release on a road and rail trip through Victoria in July.
There were many personal connections throughout for me and the story is woven from different characters' points of view. This is not distracting. It is a roller coaster and sometimes tumultuous ride as the reader is drawn into trying to establish with whom to side and who deserves judgement. I was sorry when I finished it but was satisfied with the ending.
An excellent and enthralling debut novel with a decent plot and very believable characters.
Great reviews LizP. Thank you! Also thank you to everyone who has been supporting the National Year of Reading and this book club it is great to have you on board and you should stay tuned as we keep on reading great new Australian Fiction and Non-Fiction reads from Australia's finest authors. This month we are reading GHOST GUM VALLEY by Johanna Nicholls. We are keen to hear your thoughts on this book....