Looking for something to read over the weekend ?
Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?
Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.
Then one day when I was twenty-eight years old the Past, where these memories and dreams stayed when they weren’t visiting me, turned up out of the blue without any warning. And everything changed.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: A heartbreaking, darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writer
Delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two full-blood grandmothers, Marie Munkara was born with light skin which meant one thing – it would only be a matter of time before she would be taken by the authorities and given to a white family to be raised.
Then twenty-eight years later an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever. It was a link to her past.
Knowing that she had to follow her heart or forever live to regret it Marie set out to find the family that she had lost, leaving her strict white Catholic parents aghast – why dig up the past?
With devastating honesty, humour and courage, the award-winning author of Every Secret Thing shares her extraordinary journey of discovery to find her origins.
MY THOUGHTS: There was nothing I didn’t like about Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara.
This memoir written by one of the ‘stolen generation’ is, and I quote, ‘A heartbreaking, darkly funny and deeply moving memoir from a fearlessly talented writer. It is also brutally honest about the aboriginal lifestyle – the drinking, the violence, the promiscuity, the disease that is rife amongst the communities.
But we also see the other side of these displaced people, their warmth, their generosity, their talent, their acceptance of things they cannot change. All this made me wonder if the violence is an inherited trait, or is it caused by the frustration of this nomadic people being ‘corralled up’ like livestock?
As a three year old, Marie is removed from her birth family and placed with a white strictly Catholic family in the city. She is beaten if she speaks in her native tongue, and for many other reasons.
Then at aged twenty-eight an old baptismal card falling out of a book changed the course of her life forever. It was a link to her past. And she takes herself off to find her birth family.
This book abounds with beautiful writing, especially when Marie is speaking of her mother’s death. ‘What a beautiful thing, to look at the world through eyes that have seen everything (they) are ever going to see and to be content with that….just to walk on this earth and know that you have been blessed with a life, to have an acceptance of what has been before and what’s to come.’
This is a wonderful book, a keeper for me, and one that I know I will read many times.
THE AUTHOR: Of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent, Marie Munkara was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River in Arnhemland by her two grandmothers and spent her early years on Bathurst Island. Her first novel, Every Secret Thing, won the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the Northern Territory Book of the Year in 2010. She has written two children’s books, Rusty Brown and Rusty and Jojo, and another novel, A Most Peculiar Act. Marie is presently working on the TV mini-series for Every Secret Thing and her next novel.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House Australia via Netgalley for a digital ARC of Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1680220210