Black Bones, Red Earth
by Lee Richie
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Pub Date 24 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 01 Mar 2020
Black Bones, Red Earth, is the harrowing, yet ultimately uplifting tale of a child’s search for happiness and a woman’s test of faith.
Australian Southern Highlands author, Lee Richie, looked to his mother for inspiration for this heart-wrenching novel, but where the story eventually led, surprised even he. “It’s a shameful thread that runs throughout history; children are the ones to suffer as a consequence of the decisions made by men of power. As I researched, during the writing of this novel, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the plight of children on both sides of the racial divide.”
1951: Katherine’s journey begins in the unforgiving landscape of the Australian outback. Having been abandoned by her father after her mother is killed in a London air raid, Katherine finds little sympathy when she is consigned to an austere life in the care of Lachlan and Daisy Stuart on an isolated property beyond Broken Hill. There is little tenderness in the ten-year-old’s life until Aboriginal station hands offer their friendship, but love comes at a deadly price.
Current day: Now living an idyllic life in the north of England, for almost sixty years Katherine has hidden her past. But when an old letter is discovered, she is forced to relive her traumatic years under the Australian sun and explain who died and why she had to run. However, there’s a twist in the tale that will bring her once again to her knees. Will returning to Australia help her truly find peace?
A story of hope, love, sacrifice and resilience.
Wow! I just completed Black Bones, Red Earth and literally still have tears streaming down my face. Happy tears, sad tears, angry at the way of the world tears; the last half of your book had me in a completely emotional state. - Desiree Lewis, Beta reader.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
I wasn’t sure of what to expect once I chose this book to read but it surprised me with the amount of emotion and pain the book describes with certain characters. Overall I think it was a nice read that kept me in suspense as to what was going to happen when I got to the next chapter. I would recommend this to anyone to read. It won’t disappoint you just keep reading it until it’s finished.
Lee Richie's Black Bones, Red Earth not only made me feel as though I'd lived on a sheep station in the Outback but evoked the delicate balance between whites and blacks. Against this backdrop a powerful story of a young girl, orphaned by the blitz, battled her way to womanhood. Powerful and compelling with a satisfying twist at the end. All in all a great read!
Interesting storyline as I had no idea that the British government shifted orphans from WWII to Australia or how the Aboriginal people were shunned. Vivid descriptions of life in the outback in the 1950's. The characters are believable and will come to life on the pages. I got a little bogged down in the court proceedings but they offer some humor at human ignorance in a dark time. It takes up a lot of the book and it takes a while to get back to the present time to move the story on. The cover gives an adequate description of the story so I will not dwell on other content. Overall a good read. .
I received this book as a complimentary copy for an unbiased review.The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author,publisher,and NetGalley for the ARC.
Very impressive and loaded with poignant moments😪
What a wonderful story! I learned so much about Outback life and the pictures author Lee Richie's words create of the characters and nature are so evocative: I could visualize clearly Kate, Lou, Ellin, Toby, Lachlan and the red earth, vast expanses and colorful wildlife Richie describes. Kate's life story, complete with a harsh, unloved childhood and doomed romance was fascinating, as was the way her tale provided a launch point for illustrating the state of race relations and treatment of the Aboriginal during the period.
I would say the emotional component is what really made this a great story for me. Here's a girl who finally finds her spot of stolen happiness and the consequences are dire, particularly for the people she cares for most. The ending softens the blow but provides lots of retrospection about what could have been: poignant stuff.😪
I did think the book's conclusion took too long to arrive and bogged down when filling in the years after Kate left Australia, but the very end brought all of the emotion front and center, and tears to my eyes. This is not a story I will easily forget.👍👍
Thanks to publisher BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
Against this backdrop a powerful story of a young girl, orphaned by the blitz, battled her way to womanhood. Powerful and compelling with a satisfying twist at the end. All in all a great read!
A harrowing story that lifts the lid of the type of hardship that children who were sent to the colonies sometimes had to endure. Definitely recommended to those readers who are interested in this era of history and the impact it had on lives afterwards.
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