An exciting and moving tale of the aftermath of war





This is a most engaging novel. It picks up a few years after the conclusion of “Waltzing Matilda” and is set in a similar area (indeed, Matilda makes a brief appearance). The story focuses on Flinty, a resourceful 16 year old who finds herself running the family farm, as both her parents have died and her older brother has gone droving. Yet in many ways , this book is about the impact of WW1 on families and friends, for Flinty’s life has been irrevocably changed by this war – as have the lives of most of the folk who live in her valley. Hardly a family remains untouched – either by loss of a son in battle or by the mental scars carried by the returning soldiers – be they sons, brothers or sweethearts.

We watch as Flinty struggles to cope both emotionally and physically and we see the importance of not only family but also the broader community. There is a lot to enjoy in this novel and the mysterious ghost that Flinty meets only adds to the anticipation felt by the reader as the story unfolds.

Sure to be a big hit with teen readers especially those who enjoy stories with links to Australian history. Whilst Jackie French believes that this book is number 3 in her sweeping “Matilda” saga, each of the 3 books she has written so far are also capable of standing alone. So the reader does not need to have read “Waltzing Matilda” or “A Rose for the Anzac boys” to enjoy this novel.

(However, you may like to check out a review on this blog for A Rose for the Anzac boys)

No wonder this book was longlisted for the 2012 CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

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I am a teacher-librarian in a government school. I love reading and talking about books ... to anyone who will listen!

2 thoughts on “An exciting and moving tale of the aftermath of war”

  1. This was a beautiful book. As usual Jackie French was able to weave history into an amazing story. It is truly a story of bravery, a young girl, confused at why the people around her that experienced war are so distant and determined to make the most of her life.
    I wont spoil it for potential readers but I love the way Flinty coped with the “big” event that happened to her. She truly is the brave, courageous, amazing Girl from Snowy River!
    The memorable characters are extraordinary and fun, I felt like I was living in the world along side them, sharing their dreams, hopes and fears!
    Great book!!! Well done Jackie!
    This is one book I definitely recommend!

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