Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sorry | Gail Jones

I love reading Australian authors. Jones is no exception although this is the first of her novels I have read. There is so much of the Australian landscape and climate  infused in the characters and stories of Australia.
"Sorry" is the story of a mismatched family dysfunctional in the extreme. A scholarly father, a crazy mother and Perdita the child. The family moves from England to Broom, Western Australia to study the Aboriginal people of the area. The isolation and culture shock drive Stella (the mother) to cling to her knowledge of Shakespeare and eschew reality. She ignores Perdita who is neither schooled not doted on by her parents. As the marriage strains and fails, Perdita is left to the care of Mary the Aboriginal girl helper. Perdita's only other friend is a deaf/mute neighbor who in his simplicity loves her and communicates with her in contrast to the silence of her parents.
The novel touches on many themes but most poignantly it addresses the prejudices agains Aboriginals. Jones has a deep understanding of their culture and shows this through Mary's character. It's not a happy story but a touching one.
I am going to look out for Jone's other books as she writes in a beautiful style.

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