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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Peter Watt - Cry of the Curlew

  reviewed live on bookshow by Brian Lowen 18th July 2013
This is a long saga of a story set in Australia in the 1800’s when the country was growing from the original penal settlements into a new vibrant nation.

The story involves the continued feuding between two families – the Macintosh and the Duffy families and the book starts with the brutal dispersal of the aboriginal tribe from the property of the prosperous landowner Donald Macintosh. This is genocide at its worst and we are not spared the gory details.

Meanwhile, in thriving Sydney town the Duffy family are unaware of the involvement of some of their members in this brutal dispersal and this leads to the start of the bitter feud lasting over several generations of the two families.

I cannot hope to summarise the story as it is very complicated involving many people but it is easy to follow and includes all the right ingredients of a good story – action, drama, romance, sex, and historical interest.

I found it really interesting as it gives you a good idea what life was like in the early days of the formation of the Australian nation – life in the sun-baked outback compared to the rumbustious life in the new townships where class distinction was very marked

between the rich upper class and the poor immigrants eking out a living in  cramped insanitary hovels in the townships.
This is the first part of a trilogy and I am already into the second book as I enjoyed the first book so much. I found it equally as good as Ken Follett’s current trilogy.
Thoroughly recommended.

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