'Wishes for Starlight' by Linda J BettenayReviewed by Robyn MolloyEditor, Examiner Newspapers; Freelancer, webjournalist.com.auThe appallingness of the Aborigines Act 1905 is at the heart of Roleystone author Linda Bettenay’s second novel 'Wishes For Starlight'.The Act saw a chief protector appointed as legal guardian to all Aborigines in WA and it spelled the end of civil'Wishes for Starlight' by Linda J BettenayReviewed by Robyn MolloyEditor, Examiner Newspapers; Freelancer, webjournalist.com.auThe appallingness of the Aborigines Act 1905 is at the heart of Roleystone author Linda Bettenay’s second novel 'Wishes For Starlight'.The Act saw a chief protector appointed as legal guardian to all Aborigines in WA and it spelled the end of civil rights for Aborigines with discrimination, segregation and the loss of the right to move around the state freely.Bettenay tells the fictionised story of Starlight, a mysterious deaf mute Aboriginal boy rescued from abhorrent living conditions by three children, who vow to make it their life’s journey to look after his welfare.His greatest ally is Mary, a strong willed white girl, battered by her philandering father, but determined not to let each and every hurdle life throws at her keep her down.Mary and Starlight’s lives entwine as they endure life without parents, war, depression, death, discrimination and separation from each other.With her acceptance of Starlight, her attempt to run a business alone when estranged by war and her friendships with men who are not her husband, Mary’s life defies what is expected of women of the day.She shows that injustices towards women ran parallel with those of Aborigines.An array of lovable and evil characters join Starlight and Mary to bring the hills of Canning Mills, Karragullen and Roleystone in the 1900s alive with prejudices, sexism, racism and rich discussions about what is right and wrong in their world.Through it all Mary and Starlight give breath to loyalty, strength of character, overcoming adversity and challenging the conventions of the day.Bettenay is bold in her storytelling, she does not shy away from what life must have been like for Aborigines at that time and bravely includes fictionalised accounts of people and places with which she is most familiar, having grown up in the hills where she still lives today.Take delight in reading a WA author writing about the part of WA she knows and loves.It will entertain you, affront you and compel you to talk about what life was like 100 years ago in suburbs we all know.Readers of Bettenay’s first book 'Secrets Mothers Keep' will enjoy the reappearance of Bluey, Macca and the now mellowed newspaperman Eustace.Bettenay’s fans can be rest assured 'Wishes For Starlight' has as many shocks and even better storytelling than her first novel....
|Title||:||Wishes For Starlight|
|Number of Pages||:||563 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Wishes For Starlight Reviews
The storyline was engaging, especially at times when it delved into aspects of Indigenous culture and history but on the whole I found the writing style to be insufferable. Also I expected the focus of the book would have been on the title character, his culture, how it was being affected by the changes at the time, but instead it really felt like it was about the white characters in the book and he was an interesting sideline that flitted into the story every now and again.
I have just finished reading "Wishes for Starlight" and would like everyone to know that it was one of the best novels ive ever read.Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of this book and it was quite literally hard to put down. Being somewhat familiar with the locales (I was born in Armadale in 1980 and have lived in the region most of my life) it was interesting to feel like it was also my history. I particularly loved the characters and the difficult real-life issues behind each of their stories. Specifically I really appreciate that she has written about how nobody asked the indigenous people what they wanted. My heart breaks at how Mary and her friends thought they knew what was best for Starlight. Can i just say that i was completely devastated by the ending. I felt an intense loss and honestly I burst out crying in shock and horror. This rarely happens in other books I read! However I fully appreciated the circular patterns of all the interconnections between the characters and the lifetime of events leading up to that moment. It was so beautifully fateful. I feel emotionally overwhelmed, very satisfied and also impressed by Linda J Bettenays second novel. I encourage all Australians to read this book
Another sensational read from Linda Bettenay. I was particularly thrilled to see more of Bluey, Macca and Eustace. This time I found myself once again profoundly sad for the people who were ravaged by war, those involved and those left behind. And for the cruel and unjust treatment of fellow human beings who just happened to be indigenous Australians instead of being of English stock. Please Linda keep on writing, I am loving your books and looking forward to reading more
Really enjoyed this local story and look forward to more by this author.