Gifts of the Peramangk

by Dean Mayes | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1926760808 Global Overview for this book
Registered by redfox5 of Camberley, Surrey United Kingdom on 6/28/2014
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by redfox5 from Camberley, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, June 28, 2014
Brought for the 'Australian' sweepstake. I've got to stop entering sweeps where I don't already have books. I'm buying so many books and the space is running out :O

Picked this one because it was by and indie author and it looks really good :)

Journal Entry 2 by redfox5 at Sandhurst, Berkshire United Kingdom on Monday, July 07, 2014
Another book I woud never had discovered if it wasn't for Bookcrossing. This is a beautiful and touching story. It's about a girl called Ruby and her grandmother, Virginia. The book flicks between their stories. In the present with Ruby and in the past with Virginia. Both have hard lives but are brought out of it when they play the violin. It's their only escape and for Ruby it starts to look like it might be her chance.

Both Ruby and Virginia are likable charcters. As are some of the side characters, who also had good side stories. I had no idea about 'The White Australia Policy' and couldn't belive that they just took Virginia from her mother. But then considering all the terrible thing people do in the past. I shouldn't have been suprised.

It's hard to talk about this book without spoiling it but by the last chapter I was in floods of tears. Gifts Of The Peramangk is something you should read. I can't belive Dean Mayes has not been snatched up by a publisher yet.

Journal Entry 3 by redfox5 at Australian Lit Sweep, Sweepstake Winner -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Released 4 yrs ago (7/8/2014 UTC) at Australian Lit Sweep, Sweepstake Winner -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Enjoy the book :)

Journal Entry 4 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
This arrived some time in the last two weeks while I was away on holidays. Our neighbour kindly checked our mail every day we were gone and delivered it to us within minutes of our arrival home. I am anxious to read this book which seems to echo the experience our aboriginal people encountered when they were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to residential schools. Canada is still paying the price for that policy.

Journal Entry 5 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 22, 2015
In the first half of the 20th century Australian aboriginal children were routinely taken from their families under the guise of protecting the children. These were called the Stolen Generation because they seldom were returned to their families. This book tells the story of one child, Virginia Craddock, who was taken from her mother as a young child ostensibly to receive medical care. Virginia never saw her mother or her father again. Instead she was sent from the hospital to a large farm where she was worked like a slave. There were two redeeming qualities to this life. The first was a young sheepdog, Simon, who became her constant companion. The second was the music that the mistress played every afternoon, accompanying gramophone records with her violin. Virginia was entranced with the violin. The mistress noticed Virginia watching and offered to teach her how to play. Virginia proved adept and the music released her from her trials.

Two generations later Virginia's grandaughter, Ruby, proves to have inherited Virginia's musical talent and from the age of 4 Virginia teaches Ruby all she knows. By the time she is 8 Ruby really needs further teaching but there is no way that music lessons can be afforded. Virginia and Ruby live with Ruby's uncle and aunt and their three children in government housing on the northern edge of Adelaide. The aunt works long hours as a nurses' aide and the uncle picks up the occasional labouring job but he drinks or gambles most of his earnings away. When he is drunk the uncle is also physically abusive and his son has learned to react the same way when he is angry. This dysfunctional family is not one to nurture a violin prodigy.

Canada also had a policy of taking children away from their aboriginal homes and placing them in residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recently released its reports about this shameful chapter in Canadian history. It is well known that physical and sexual abuse took place in the schools and the effects of that trauma cascade from generation to generation just as it did in this novel. I am hopeful that relations between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals in Canada are now on a path to reconciliation. I am not sure that is the case in Australia. This article from The Guardian says that another stolen generation is happening in Australia.

Here is a list of some other books on this subject:
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara
Jessica by Bryce Courtenay
My Place by Sally Morgan
Benang by Kim Scott

Journal Entry 6 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, November 08, 2015
I passed this book on to my sister. She spent a year teaching in Australia and part of that time was in Adelaide so I'm sure she will be interested.

Journal Entry 7 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
My sister passed this book on to me. It is a good read and the background about the "stolen generation" is something I wasn't aware of. In style the book is like a cross between an Horatio Alger and Charles Dickens book where the hero (in this case heroines) overcomes great odds through hard work, perseverance, clean living and the help of a mentor to achieve great success. There is a certain amount of unlikely coincidence in the story.

That maybe sounds like I am criticizing the book but I did enjoy it and I think any reader would.

I was planning on passing the book on to an Australian friend who was coming for a visit in April. However, a family crisis has intervened and it will be a while before she gets here so I am going to put the book out at one of our local restaurants.

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