Thursday, 1 December 2011

Nanberry, Black Brother White

'Nanberry' is the latest novel by Australian author, Jackie French. Jackie is well known for her contributions in the field of children's and youth literature. She has proven herself to be a prolific and talented author.
The setting for 'Nanberry' is Sydney in 1789, when the new colony is being established. The novel centres around several main characters, including a possum.

Nanberry is a nine year old Aboriginal boy who is the only survivor of a smallpox epidemic in his family, which was unwittingly introduced by white settlers.He is adopted by surgeon John White, who raises him in a kind and protective manner. The surgeon himself plays an important role in the early life of the colony, and we read of the harsh living conditions under which individuals tried to survive.
Then there is Rachel Turner who has been transported to Australia for alleged theft. She escapes the hangman's noose and goes to work as a housekeeper for the surgeon.
Woven through the tale is the possum's story; a likeable pest who enters the surgeon's household.
We read of the attitudes and events of the early days in white Australian history, including the life of the convicts and the 'Rum Corps' or 'Military Corps', early housing and food.
Gripping story and meticulous detail.


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