Before I do my review, I have to put up this disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for a highly discounted price through Tomoson and the publisher. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone. I received no financial compensation for this review. At the end of the review, I will include a links to Amazon for the paperback and Kindle version. Now, onto my review.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the son of an English lord settles in Australia and marries an indigenous woman. It is an age when interracial relationships are not only misunderstood, but result in family conflict, disgrace, and disinheritance.
Then the Christian missionaries come. They destroy the timeless culture and beliefs of Australia’s indigenous people, leaving them to flounder in a soup of the white man’s religious beliefs. The great-grandmother’s telling of the family story is the nourishment that holds it together through war, and the constant battle to adjust and exist in a white man’s world. The Christian missionaries will not tolerate any belief or view other than their own. Amid all this religious and racial conflict, the great-grandchildren adjust and eventually prosper. The young man distinguishes himself in the conflict in Vietnam, while his sister finds her place and flourishes in the food and catering industry.
From the Boer War through two World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the last decades of the twentieth century, Matriarch takes readers on an eye-opening journey through Australian history, culminating in a serial murder mystery that opens old family wounds.
Author Geoffrey Hope Gibson’s historical sweep of Australia’s past is as broad as James A. Michener’s. His style is reminiscent of Richard Llewellyn’s depictions of Wales and Argentina, and his depiction of Aborigine mistreatment rivals the most frightening moments in Tayeb Salih’s classic postcolonial novel Season of Migration to the North.
I loved this book. I loved the fact that it made me go and look up Aboriginal customs, which I had always been curious about. I haven’t read a book that just focused on that culture and to read one was fascinating. And of course, I read the book with an Australian accent…lol.
The book was wonderfully written. I did have an issue with the book jumping between characters. When it was just Alkina and Darian, it was fine. But, when it started jumping between other characters (and this is later on in the book), I got a little confused and had trouble keeping up with who’s who.
I will say that there is a major twist in the plot, at the end of the book, that surprised me. Like I sat there for a minute and went “Hrmmmm” after I read it.
Will I reccomend this book to family and friends: Yes, I will. I thought that it was a wonderful book that took a very painful era for Australia and wrote about it beautifully. I also loved that the author incorporated traditional Aboriginal customs (Dreaming, walkabouts) into the book.
Will I read it again? Yes.
Now onto the links:
Please remember…..Amazon’s prices can and will change. Thanks!!!