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on April 17, 2012 :
Tags like "aboriginal history" and "outback" and descriptions such as "meticulously researched" really hardly do any justice to this unique coming of age tale.
Set in a time and culture so diametrically different to almost anything left on earth today, the success of this story for me does not rest in dry researches (thorough and intriguing as they are), but in the way the author's character portrayals march straight out of what my northern friends call "Before Time" Australia and into today's hearts and minds without missing a step. A very perceptively done exercise in the universality of man, if you will; not without wit, never clumsy and avoiding romanticism deftly.
I have seldom read such an evocative portrayal of awakening young love as as that of Ulloola and Baringa as they travel alone through the cathedral forests of Australia's eastern fall country. The author's ability to create the book's scenes so vividly for the reader is also quite stunning - obviously he not only knows the bush - it's in his heart. I was left wondering if the child in the Prologue caught in fear of the long abandoned feather slippers of the Kadaitja man was in fact the author as a child? Powerful magic to be touched by; I'm impressed.
(reviewed the day of purchase)