Bondi Junction in the late 1940s is a microcosm of changing Australia, and life is changing too fast for locals like salt-of-the-earth Pop Wilson, prickly Miss McNulty and feisty single mum Kath, all of whom resent the European ‘reffos’ who have moved in. The newcomers are struggling to rebuild their lives while the unhealed wounds of the past threaten to overwhelm them. As the lives of the neighbours interweave, unexpected new relationships cause tragedy for some, but forgiveness and salvation for others. Ultimately the residents of Wattle Street discover that behind closed doors, old as well as new Australians have secret heartaches which poison their lives. Can we ever forget the past, or does it continue to fester inside us? Can understanding be forged from prejudice and fear? Part love story, part mystery and part crime investigation, Empire Day confirms Diane Armstrong as one of our most gifted and compelling storytellers.
©2011 Diane Armstrong (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Fear of change
My favorite scene was the neighbor performing his magic show. He had to overcome the hold his past had on him in order to help a sick child.
I was not aware of the influx of European immigrants into Australia after the war. The numbers of Nazis who managed to gain entry into the allied countries at that time was pretty amazing. Imagine walking down the street and coming face to face with the beast who had tortured you or your loved ones.
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