Tom has had enough. Rather than hand over the farm to the bank, he'd prefer to burn it to the ground. Unfortunately, he dies in the resulting blaze and now his family - Dawn and the twins, Jenny and Jack - want to take him back to Melbourne where he was born. But a horse + cart + coffin = a slow, slow journey from rural Victoria to the Big Smoke. Along the way there will be plenty of time to draw attention to the plight of farmers, plenty of time for trouble to find them too, dogging the progress of their eclectic procession.
Told from Jack's fresh perspective, this is an entertaining and thought-provoking read that highlights the tough realities of Australian rural life and affirms the power of community standing together. [Larger font]
Interesting but not much happens. Current topics.
Most of us enjoyed this, quite typically 'Australian', with the combination of drama and humour. A few of us have farming backgrounds so we appreciated the hardship - also quite topical with climate change. Good story.
Mixed opinions. Most found it a light read, but a good story with satisfactory beginning and middle but most were unsure about the end. Jack, the narrator, was a good choice to tell the tale. A story of community.
Members thought the book was more for young adults. No one "loved" it.
Everyone enjoyed the book, with some reservations eg. analgesia not really relevant to the story, and Jenny's involvement in lighting fires. Very even scores which is quite unusual for us.
Very interesting facts, but a dense read..
Half the group didn't finish the book - did not grab them. Others thought it was ok - from a kid's perspective. Some familiar Aussie language and insights. Strange to include the analgesia condition, as it does not stop emotions.
It created a lot of discussion.
Our group likes Australian authors. We enjoyed the story, and the unexpected turn of events at the end. With protestors in Wellington at present, it caused a lively discussion. Easy read and a good story.
A real Aussie novel which the group enjoyed, but were not overly enthusiastic. The novel clip-clopped along like Danny Boy the horse, then petered out.
Easy to read, interesting idea but not brilliantly executed. Reads like a first novel.
Our meeting was cancelled, but those of us who commented found the book easy to read but with too many scenarios, which didn't make a strong story.
I didn't attend the meeting, but overall everyone that did seemed to have positive things to say about it. A worthwhile read!!
Although the group had mixed feelings about the literary merits of the book, all agreed that the characters and the farming situation deserved warm sympathy. The book produced an afternoon of energetic discussion.
A very enjoyable read tackling deep problems with a light touch. Well drawn and attractive characters - our group were particularly taken by the horse! Only criticism from some of us was that the ending seemed a bit hurried and so an anticlimax after we had become so involved in the lives of these people.