CBR 14 Bingo: Bird
Birds populate the landscape of this book – and Eliza’s father is prophesied to be found in a white place surrounded by many birds.
When Eliza’s father’s ship returns from a pearling expedition without him, everyone but her seems to accept that he is dead. But Eliza is certain there is more to the story, and she is determined to find him.
I am rather annoyed with this book. It was so relentlessly depressing, and once I had gotten through the whole story, it seemed to be without purpose.
But first, the positives. The writing is wildly atmospheric, creating a clear image of this strange, raw place where the Brightwells live. I definitely learned a lot about the history of pearling in Australia that I had never known. I appreciated how the author acknowledged the atrocities that were perpetuated upon the Indigenous Australians, especially in the context of the pearling industry.
But the story! It made me spitting mad! It was a dreary tale, and the only person with any integrity seemed to be the often nigh-suicidal Eliza. She is obsessive in her search for her father, but personally I do not understand why. All the characters in this book lead dark and constrained lives, and no one seems to have ever been happy, and will apparently never be happy. I also found the character of Axel to be very odd – he commits whole-heartedly to helping Eliza with her search – because he briefly admired her from afar?
I think the sensibilities of the author and myself wildly differ, and for this reason, I doubt I will read more of her work.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.