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The White Earth By Andrew McGahan,

  • Title: The White Earth
  • Author: Andrew McGahan
  • ISBN: 9781741146127
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Paperback
  • An innocent boy is the focus of this novel, which highlights the tensions between the descendants of Australia s settlers and today s Aborigines as the sins of the past come back to haunt a new generation.William was not yet nine when his ineffectual father was accidentally killed in a fire His mother, fighting demons of her own, casts him upon the charity of an unknown gAn innocent boy is the focus of this novel, which highlights the tensions between the descendants of Australia s settlers and today s Aborigines as the sins of the past come back to haunt a new generation.William was not yet nine when his ineffectual father was accidentally killed in a fire His mother, fighting demons of her own, casts him upon the charity of an unknown great uncle, John McIvor The bitter, childless old man had been brought up expecting to marry the heiress of Kuran Station a grand estate in the Australian Outback only to be bitterly disappointed by his rejection and the subsequent selling off of the land He has devoted his life to putting the estate back together and now lives in the disintegrating, once elegant mansion McIvor is obsessed with restoring Kuran Station and tries to imbue the boy with his passion But recent legislation entitles native peoples to reclaim certain sacred sites, a threat to the old man s ambition A terrible burden is placed upon young William as he uncovers dark secrets behind the original ownership of the land Past and present merge in this cautionary tale.
    The White Earth An innocent boy is the focus of this novel which highlights the tensions between the descendants of Australia s settlers and today s Aborigines as the sins of the past come back to haunt a new genera

    One thought on “The White Earth”

    1. 4.5 sThe publicity blurb for this intriguing book touts it as Part family saga, part history and part gothic thriller This is a pretty accurate description of a grim but compelling story.The title does not reflect any reality, but rather is a reference to the White family who once owned a large pastoral station, Kuran, on the northern fringes of the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane With that dynasty long gone, the property is now in the hands of John McIvor, son of the former station manager, Dan [...]

    2. Not a bad read won the Miles Franklin A bit soapy writing sometimes a bit clunky, and the boy of 9 yrs who is central character possibly can t be as wise as this quite as quickly 3rd person voice a bit wobbly in other words It s dealing with Mabo though plus a Thornbirds type twisted landed family theme so will be interested to see how it ends other than in tears which is my bet OK finished it now Way weird attempt at dream nightmare time Aboriginal sequence before everything burnt down and spen [...]

    3. The winner of the 2005 Australian literary prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, this is a stunning novel set in the Darling Downs, a diverse farming region west of Brisbane Prior to European settlement, because of its lush indigenous grasses,the region was important as a food source and culturally to the local Aborigine tribes The arrival of the European farmers in the 1820s and 1830s put a stop to that, and the Downs quickly became the food basket for the region Farming communities and tow [...]

    4. A Disturbing Novel by Australian Author who received the Miles Franklin Award in 2005.Andrew McGahan wrote about an area where he grew up and describes the area with great feeling.The book is Motivated by the Mabo Legislation and deals with reactions to this based on ownership of the land and consequences for the property Ownwers It delves into Aboriginal History and Folklore and makes a very powerful observation about LandRights which I found very thought provoking.Throughout the book images of [...]

    5. 3.5 stars I m rather conflicted about this book I could not put it down for the first half of it, but then it petered out, started moving very slowly and seemed to lose its way The two overarching story lines came together in a rather interesting climax, but then the book just finished with no real resolution, which was quite disappointing.

    6. Australia, the serious version, so no kangaroos A tale full of angry people with dark pasts, explored by an innocent boy An intimate and grim exploration of the history of land appropriation and the relatable people involved And not a single kangaroo

    7. Reminds me in some parts of my own childhood exploring the old homesteads of the western districts in Victoria I liked the familiarity of this but was soooooo bored by the end This was an easy too easy read and an ok story although not wholly original it is often reminiscent of Wuthering Heights or Great Expectations As a work of literature, this book falls far short of the poetry, originality and grandeur of those works, and instead comes off feeling rather try hard, self indulgent, Formulaic T [...]

    8. The White Earth is a very well written piece of Australian literature which highlights our short yet complex history, the invasion of the land by the white people and the disruptions it caused for many, many generations and how it still impacts society today Young William is the POV, his father dies in a farm fire leaving his already mentally unstable mother a widow and penniless They move in with his great uncle John McIvor, into a dilapidated homestead on Kuran Station in the Darling Downs Wil [...]

    9. McGahan is grabbing for my heart strings, I can tell But man, is he way off.I do not care about William or his nasty ear, I do not care about John, the weird gothic house, or the ghosts that haunt Australia In fact, I may like Australia less having completed this book.McGahan does well to incorporate reality the social issues of the time 1992 aka a super pivotal moment in Aussie history , and I appreciate allegory having a BA and pending MA in literature but this was just too much, guys Save you [...]

    10. McGahan writes really well but the symbolism in this one is just way over the top heavy handed Heavy enough to win some Australian literary prize even It s the story of a wealthy family the Whites, get it who lost everything and may lose , because, Mabo , and the one son of their racist and violent overseer who had no choice but to keep their rotting estate and its deep dark secrets all together view spoiler Oh, and how suppressing said secrets about Australia s unjust treatment of aboriginal pe [...]

    11. The White Earth is a true Australian story which stretches back into our early history from the point of the 1990s The land is at the centre of the narrative and yet the idea of ownership is dealt with in a fairly unusual way Rather than focusing explicitly on the black and white conflict over land these issues tend to sit in the background of a different sort of story about the spiritual connection white men have with the land This story takes readers into some fairly magical places in its expl [...]

    12. This was worth a large percentage of my marks in my VCE for Literature and i worked so hard analysing, studying and re reading this novel that it earned me a 50 50 A yes that s a brag but i deserved it Aside from that, i was surprised that it actually had me interested while i was reading it for the first time , very rare for a school assignment.

    13. I gave this book 3.5 stars Published in 2007, this Australian novel follows young William, who after his father s death, moves with his emotionally detached mother to the decrepit home of his great uncle John McIvor who seeks to shape Will as his heir, but the man is so strange and parts of the situation so scary that we feel very sorry for Will The adults in his life even fail to see that he is seriously ill which has devastating consequences We get a little glimpse into some of the cultural cl [...]

    14. Immediately familiar with the Toowoomba area, this grim tale doesn t fail to keep you interested It is topical and I imagine pretty typical for families with long dynasties.

    15. The badly made audio book detracted from my enjoyment of this novel, but it was a well written story with good plotting and setting.

    16. The White Earth has been described as an example of Australian gothic and it certainly makes use of gothic elements The whole story is based around a decaying mansion where the main character William and his mother are forced to live when his father dies in a farming accident This house is inhabited by William s bitter, angry uncle who is seeking an heir for Kuran station and who latches onto William as his last hope, and his sinister housekeeper who could have stepped straight out of the pages [...]

    17. I found this book after the prologue took a long time to get started It also jumps from generation to generation and can get a bit confusing so keep up The story itself is interesting basically it s a history repeating itself, history catching up with you sort of story Some of the issue in this book were interesting and the feelings of revenge were also interesting and seemingly quite human even though they were extreme One thing I did find myself thinking with this book is about Parents and the [...]

    18. Surprising in that, though this is very much about indigenous land rights, the novel has overriding elements of horror and the gothic It s there throughout, but the book really takes a dark turn in the last quarter or so Does a really good job of explaining native title, captures the fear and hatred of fringe white nationalists, and mainstream white settler anxiety and latent bigotry Feels like a lot of other novels, sometimes particularly Faulkner s ABSALOM and Dickens s GREAT EXPECTATIONS Slo [...]

    19. A great read Young William looses his father due to ineptitude and tragedy and is discovered as the only male relative by his great uncle, owner of Kuran Station Boy and mother are taken in and the boy assessed and trained up indoctrinated by Uncle John McIvor introducing us to the Australian Independence Union and its fear of the Native Title legislation that was being introduced by the Keating government There are two major themes of rot the old mansion is barely standing as well as the seriou [...]

    20. The son of a farm hand on a grand Darling Downs estate, is given unrealistic expectations about his future role there He is disabused of his fantasy by the daughter of the house and spends the rest of his life manoeuvring to get his way This is achieved at great cost, not least to his relationships with everyone who should be close to him When his son in law dies in a farming accident he begins to groom his grandson as his heir The boy s mother, emotionally crippled by her sense of dependence, s [...]

    21. I found this a compelling read I was captivated by the story of the young boy William and how the life of his great uncle John past and present wraps around him in a sinister way William is surrounded by adults too selfish and obsessed by their own vision of the future to see his very real needs, even his mother At the heart of the story is the issue of landrights, the passing of Mabo legislation, the grim history that marks Australia s early colonial days A supernatural element imbues a sense o [...]

    22. 4.5 stars If The Thorn Birds was lacking in social commentary, The White Earth certainly wasn t Because of the title being a word away from The Good Earth , I expected the themes of the earth as life giver and the rise of peasant to landowner, with the added dimension here of white ownership and black displacement I was delivered all of those, in lavish, evocative prose The story was layered and cleverly woven I see why it won the Miles Franklin I didn t realise that McGahan had ascended such di [...]

    23. Critics describe The White Earth as a neo Dickensian novel, replete with layered stories, flashbacks, crumbling mansions, family secrets, strange deaths, ghosts, deception, and even a suspicious old housekeeper Yet they agree that the Australia Will inhabits is far darker than any world Dickens ever depicted The heart of the novel is a tragic chapter in Australian history the relocation and genocide of the Aborigines Though the characters serve as mouthpieces for differing views on the question [...]

    24. It took a while for the story to get moving but it was worth wading through the first third of this book Great imagery of the Darling Downs, heat, bushfires and drought.The centre of the story is the Native Title Law and what this means to the farmers As the book is based in Queensland, there are rednecks who see the end of the world coming Young William comes to live with his uncle in a ramshackle old mansion from a once grand farming family The uncle has secrets The land has secrets There are [...]

    25. You can sense Andrew McGahan s connection to this area from the very start of this book and his descriptions of it remain the highlight for me The pace of the story is spot on in most areas of the book but an exception was the storyline through the 50 s and 60 s that seemed to gloss over major events in double quick time Another distraction was Will s uncanny ability to understand the adult world and his mother s negligence of his wellbeing, both I found difficult to comprehend My initial readin [...]

    26. At the beginning of this novel, it seems like something that might have been plotted but not written by Dickens A young boy and his mother are relocated to an ancestral home, where there s a creepy old housekeeper and an elderly great uncle who has plans for the boy In addition to Dickens, there were parts of the story that sometimes reminded me of Willy Wonka and his search for an heir to his chocolate factory The story doesn t ultimately live up to its original promise It s reasonably entertai [...]

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