It’s bingo Saturday once again – that rolled around fast! The square I’ve filled for this entry is:
A book written by someone over 60
A Month of Sundays is Australian author Liz Byrski’s tenth novel.
This is very much a novel about the joy of reading, what we draw from books, why we read, and the many ways in which it connects us to others and the world around us. I loved how each woman not only realised things about themselves while discussing their own books, but also through reading the ones put forward by the others. I loved the connectivity and parallels they made between their chosen books and their own lives. I also appreciated the dissemination of the individual responses to the books read, particularly when there was contention between these responses. It made me think of my own reading and reviewing, and the reviewers that I follow, and all the different reactions we usually have to the same books.
This year I’m playing book bingo with Mrs B’s Book Reviews. On the first and third Saturday of each month, we’ll post our latest entry. We’re not telling each other in advance what we’re currently reading or what square we’ll be filling next; any coincidences are exactly that – and just add to the fun!
Follow our card below if you’d like to join in, and please let us know if you do so we can check out what you’re reading.
Now I’m off to check out what square Mrs B has marked off for this round. See you over there!
6 thoughts on “Bingo! A Month of Sundays by Liz Byrski”
#Book Bingo 2018: ‘A book everyone is talking about’ – The Last of the Bonegilla Girls by Victoria Purman
I really really wanted to love this book as I was a Bonegilla girl too, well, actually a Bonegilla toddler. My parents migrated to Australia from Germany in 1966 and their first stop was the Bonegilla Migrant Camp. Our stay wasn’t a long one but my parents enjoyed their short stay and were looking forward to making a new life in Australia, and they embraced the Australian way with gusto.
I was a touch disappointed with this novel. There was so much talk about this book, focusing attention on the Bonegilla Migrant Camp on social media I became quite excited and was looking forward to reading a story based only in the Migrant Camp, or so I thought, but instead the book revolved around four Bonegilla girls, their romance, their secrets and lots and lots of drama, which was a bit off putting especially Vasiliki’s secret, a secret she kept to herself – wrong, just so wrong.
So definitely not how I imagined the story to transpire at all. Exploring more of the ins and outs of the Bonegilla Migrant Camp, and a bigger glimpse into the ‘girls’ parents work/job would have been a lot more fascinating and would have made the book feel more authentic, in my opinion anyway.
Here’s a passage that irked me: ‘Those teachers are teaching them how to be Australian.’ Giuseppe turned back to her. ‘How to be Australian? Never. They will always be Italian. And we must always speak Italian to them. Always. They can’t forget our language. Our culture. Our food.’
geez, what an attitude! Thank goodness my parents didn’t force all that on to me!
For anyone thinking the term ‘New Australian’ is politically incorrect, pull your head in. Goodness, we came to a new country we were new and living in Australia, therefore the term New Australian fits perfectly. Too many overly sensitive people these days, me thinks.
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What refreshing insight Sue, and I really value this perspective given you identified as a new Australian once upon a time. I did enjoy this novel, but like you point out, it definitely was less Bonegilla and more girls within its focus.
What a lovely comment, thank you Theresa! I think if it had of read more like a memoir it would have been far more interesting, oh well, it wasn’t to be but I still love my signed copy which is displayed on my bookshelf. My dad passed away one year ago today and seeing the word Bonegilla in the title gives me a huge smile as it reminds me of my dad as he spoke about the camp a lot.
Great review of A Month of Sundays, Theresa! I’m adding it to my TBR list.
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That is a nice association Sue. I need to do the next step now in tracing my grandparents (and my mother’s) journey into Australia. I have received digital copies of their immigration records and from here I should be able to quite easily find out if they stopped by in Bonegilla. They were sponsored though, and the destination on the papers has an address, of a farm that was where my grandfather worked for many years before buying his own farm. Grandpa could also speak English very well, so perhaps they didn’t go there. I’ll have to see what I find out!
And I think you’ll really appreciate A Month of Sundays!
Good luck in your search, Theresa! If you’re willing I’d love to know if they did stop by in Bonegilla once you have the information. The Bonegilla Migrant Centre is well worth planning a visit to, so much has been restored and the outdoor photo wall is amazing as are the tours. I was gobsmacked when I saw my dad in one of the gigantic photos. A couple of different books are available for purchase and that is where I too found photos of my parents. They are fantastic keepsakes!
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I will certainly let you know.
How thrilling, seeing a picture of your dad like that!!!