Good Reading : June 2017
GOOD READING JUNE 2017 9 (gr December 2016–January 2017). She accurately re-creates the world of the 1930s: the architecture, fashions, food, furnishings, manners and the transport in the novel all reflect careful and diligent research. The female characters are psychologically true to their times and circumstances, the plot spins along and the narrative technique (moving between contemporary times and the 1930s) provides plenty of cliffhangers. And the setting is recognisably and delightfully South Australian. It’s good, but it could be better. The male characters are differentiated, but only into the good and the bad. The good tend to be cheerful and kindly, have seductive eyes and know what women want, while the villains are violent reprobates. I have other quibbles too. A word like ‘obfuscate’, for example, should be used very spar ingly indeed; and why is the genealogical relationship between Addy and Roma (they are third cousins) so impenetrable to themselves and other characters? One thing I’ve noticed about the few contemporary novels that I have read written by women for women about women is the profusion of names in the acknowledgements section.Victor ia Pur man is no less lavish with her gratitude. So with all those supporters, why wasn’t something done about the proofreading, which is so poor that the errors interfere with the readers’ enjoyment of the book? My generation was possibly the last to be educated in cultural literacy. If the author didn’t realise, however, that Cain is not a name suitable for a 1930s character, someone else should have. Sure, biblical archetypes are not imprinted on everyone’s consciousness in Australia today, but no respectable parents in the early 20th century would have named a son Cain – the murderer of his brother Abel in the biblical story. Worst of all,Victoria Pur man has her very traditional heroine, eight months pregnant, starting to give birth on the doorstep after hear ing of her husband’s death at Sandakan, where he had been, according to the text, imprisoned for two years. ‘My daughter ... will never know her father,’ she mourns. All that was needed was to remove that potent word ‘Sandakan’. After all, she could have had him falling off a truck in Darwin. The past may be a foreign country, but it’s not another planet. Enough. I enjoyed the novel. It’s a r ipping yarn. Judith Crabb, Oaklands Park, SA YOUR SAY EDITOR & PUBLISHER • Rowena Morcom firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY EDITOR • Tim Graham email@example.com EDITORIAL MANAGER • Angus Dalton firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE RESOURCES MANAGER Rosie Bisset email@example.com FINANCIAL DIRECTOR • David Morcom ART DIRECTOR • Danielle Cairis WORK/LIFE BALANCE SUPERVISOR Baxter the dog firstname.lastname@example.org PROOFREADER • Russell Thomson, AE ACCOUNTS ENQUIRIES email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS firstname.lastname@example.org Good Reading Magazine 1/7 Rosebery Place, Balmain NSW AUSTRALIA 2041 Tel: (61 2) 8090 1051 Fax: (61 2) 9810 2488 goodreadingmagazine.com.au ISSN 1445-2839 Subscription rates Print-only 12 months (11 issues) Australia $109.50 I New Zealand A$124.95 International A$205 Online-only 12 months (11 issues, single user) $70 Print and online 12 months (11 issues, single user) Aust $133 | NZ A$155 | International A$230 PUBLISHED BY Good Reading Magazine Pty Ltd ABN 38 003 750 150 1/7 Rosebery Place, Balmain NSW Australia 2041 goodreadingmagazine.com.au Tel: +61 2 8090 1051 Copyright ©2017 Good Reading Magazine Pty Ltd All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Liability howsoever arising as a result of the use of, or reliance upon, any advice, representation, statement, advertisement, opinion or conclusion expressed in Good Reading is expressly disclaimed by the publishers and participants in its preparation. PRINTED BY Emerald Press DISTRIBUTED BY Network Distribution Phone 02 9282 8777 Good Reading uses Macquarie Dictionary.