Early Australia Comes to Life

GEORGINA: Woman of Flowers by Libby Hathorn

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

INTEREST LEVEL : YRS 10 AND UP

 

An entertaining and informative novel set in the early settlement of WA. We learn a lot about these difficult pioneering days, especially from the female perspective. The central character is an intriguing woman; her strong religious views may offend some of her neighbours but she gradually emerges as a strong, adaptable and caring woman who learns to love her new home of Australia. Her willingness to adapt to her new environment, her compassion and interest in those around her (including the Aboriginal peoples) soon endears Georgiana to the reader. Clearly well researched, this novel is an entertaining read. The central story of Georgiana may appeal more to the adult reader than the teenager, but the unfolding drama of the Summerfield family (who live with the constant threat of domestic violence from their brutish step-father and husband) is likely to be of more interest. This twin narrative allows the reader to see the life of the times from varying perspectives (and also reveals Georgiana’s compassion and influence in the growing friendship between the two women, despite their different backgrounds and circumstances).

Recommended (dma) ****