Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Burial - Courtney Collins

Set in Australia in an era where prisoners could be freed as indentured servants and based on a true story.
Following a stint in prison Jessie is one such released prisoner, released to a man who hustles horses and expects a servant and wife.
No politically correct checks on a person were available in that day and age so it's not long before his nastier colours show.
Unusually the story is told from the perspective of Jessie's new baby including Jessie's life before prison.
The whole book attains an almost spiritual element to it by use of this device.
It's both cruel and enchanting with a wide range of characters crossing Jessie's path.
The only downside, for me, was that the story seemed to end quite abruptly. But then maybe the true story did too.
In a year in which one of Australia's greatest storytellers dies- Bryce Courtenay- this may be the Courtney to watch.
I look forward to the next book.

Publisher - Allen and Unwin

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