Poisoning the Nest
When Jack Kelly signed up, the war was meant to be over by Christmas. It was supposed to be an adventure, a chance to escape his life for a little, something to tell the grandkids about. But it wasn’t the adventure they promised, and heroism is more complicated than it seems in stories. While stories cover painful memories. More
A man sits at a lookout contemplating his future.
When Jack Kelly signed up, the war was meant to be over by Christmas. It was supposed to be an adventure, a chance to escape his life for a little, something to tell the grandkids about. It wasn’t the adventure they promised. The war didn’t stay ‘over there’, it slipped its bonds in Europe and travelled all the way to his little town of Katoomba. It wasn’t meant to set neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend. Yet it had. Wife, brother, friends, all would be touched by the conflict in one way or the other.
Seeping into the very fabric of local communities, the war finds out the fault lines between people testing the cohesion of the young nation. Making heroes of some and enemies of others.
The man at the lookout could never have known what forces would lead him there, any more than he could guess at the stories that would live after him. Comforting stories to cover his uncomfortable reality.
Poisoning the Nest, examines the damage done to individuals, families and society, by Australia’s involvement in the First World War. It tells the forgotten story of the home front, from the perspective of both supporters and opponents of the war. Intermingling with this story, is a meditation on the nature of heroes, and the desire to construct myths. Myths, which simplify difficult and painful histories, both in the private sphere and as a society.
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