A wonderful, poignant and beautifully crafted story.
Robert Newton has a rare talent for writing scenes and characters that are beautifully vivid and evocative. There is a voyeuristic element to reading Robert Newton’s writing, in so far as you cant help but feel that you are walking right alongside the characters and sharing their experiences every step of the way.
I loved the sense of place in this novel. I loved the sense of kinship between strangers in outback Australia. I especially loved the relationship between Dan and Eddie, the brothers the story is centred around.
There are several complex layers to this novel and a class novel study would yield interesting responses and reflections from students. Be well prepared though and ensure you have a box of tissues handy, there are many heartbreaking, tear inducing moments throughout.
Comparisons to John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And Men” are inevitable, though the books are really very different. When we consider that Steinbeck’s novel has become a celebrated classic, this bodes well for our very own Aussie equivalent, Robert Newton.