By Bruce Pascoe
(Image sourced …arts.gov.au – via google images)
Not a frequent reader of Young Adult Fiction, I found myself initially unsure about this one. However thankfully good sense prevailed and I can honestly relay here ‘It’s a darn good read’ and you don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy it.
I’ll fess-up now. Although I’m Australian and have been all my life, I’d never come across Bruce Pascoe in our reading scheme, so intend now to make up for my ignorance and spread his good name. For this small (111 pages in all, big type) novel, published 2012, will immediately whisk you off into the Victorian Bush and you’ll be the better for it.
The wildness and wilderness is exquisitely detailed and the relationships between man and man and man and animal are so beautifully explored.
Furthermore, there is a wonderful scene where Albert and Crazy Dave share a very light on conversation, although deep on understanding and companionship mug of tea. Or another memorable example, earlier on in the tale, when Brim (a devoted half dingo four legged friend) is feeding her own pups and displays such faithfulness to her master that she accepts the parenting role, without question, of three recently orphaned fox cubs.
The sounds of the bush, the instincts of both man (plus animal) and the weaving of Maria’s story (a terminally ill pre-teen) don’t just add to the quality of the tale, they enhance the telling.
So if you find yourself with about one and half hours and you feel like getting lost in the raw, rough and wise Australian Bush, go find a copy of this moving and highly recommended tale and acquaint yourself with Albert Cutts, the tree feller.