Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Turning

Another novel for the Aussie Author Challenge, this is actually a collection of short stories that web together through various connections. The Turning by Tim Winton, which is apparently due to be released in cinemas as a movie. Really interestingly done, but not sure how the beauty of the book is going to translate to the screen ...

It's about ordinary lives, set over the last few decades, set in various times, with various main characters, various tenses and narrators. It's generally set in small coast towns of Western Australia, though usually not specified.
   There's drugs, violence, despair, grief, estrangement, regret, sentimentality, companionship, soul-searching and love. Often the short stories come back to Vic Lang, who appears in a number of stories either directly or indirectly. Other characters are loosely linked as well. Initially, I was confused, but I let go and really enjoyed the voices, stories and journey.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Daughters of Mars

Another book for the Aussie Author Challenge: I read The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally. This was my first Thomas Keneally book, and I absolutely loved the language. This book was set during the first world war, and the language that he uses, not only with the dialogue, is suited to the time. Beautiful.

Naomi and Sally Durance are daughters of a dairy farmer. They escape their the tedium of their lives, and the guilty of having euthanised their mother, when the call for nurses is made in the Great War. The novel has a vast scope, from Africa to Gallipoli, to France and the Eastern Front. But it remains very intimate, closely following these strong sisters caught up in the great mill of history.
   It is interesting that the ending is alternate - you don't really know what happens, and you can imagine their either ending is just as plausible.
   I really enjoyed this novel, and am now a keen Thomas Keneally fan!