My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this through the Pigeonhole, so thank you to them. I loved this book. It’s set in Australia, just after the first world war, when ex-soldiers were given the opportunity to buy land – a mixed blessing in Australia. It touches on the horrors of war, Aboriginal rights, PTSD, but with a light touch: all is integral to the story.
The main characters are 3 ex-soldiers – one of them of Aboriginal descent – and an ex-army nurse (who has experienced as much trauma as the rest of them) – and the Australian landscape. Kim Kelly has the knack of describing a landscape she obviously knows and loves as if she is seeing it for the first time. She captures the beauty of Australia, but also the scariness of that great empty land.
It reminded me of being in the art gallery in Adelaide, and wandering round the landscape paintings. At first, they all look like versions of Europe, and then suddenly it’s as if artists could really see Australia and paint it as it was. Kim does that in words.
If you want a break from winter, read this book. It’s a delight.