There is something about David Malouf that I do not like. I can never connect with his characters, I find his writing stilted and in a funny way his plots develop but at the same time are lacking. However I do try to like his books and this one was slightly better than my last attempt (Dream Stuff).
One day a teenager comes across a Australian farming community that consists of Scottish immigrants. After a bit we find out that this teen, Gemmy was cast away as a Baby by British sailors and brought up by Aborigines, thus making him a sort of leeway to the Aboriginal and ‘white’ world.
Unfortunately Gemmy divides the town into two clans. There those who mistrust him and those who befriend him, by the end of the novel both factions suffer and Gemmy is exiled although his presence affects the characters for the rest of their lives.
The irony here lies in the fact that both Gemmy and every person in the community has a past in a different country and yet there is an apprehension towards him due to the fact that he lived with a black race. We also get a glimpse at the development of Australia and it’s shift from a rural to cosmopolitan society.
I think, as in the case of The Holder of the World, I really wasn’t in the mood for this type of book and I felt like something a bit less stuffy and loose but whenever I read a couple of books I don’t feel like. I will be compensated by some great novel.