As the vessel journeys haplessly southwards, in Tasmania itself an Aboriginal named Peevay recounts his people's struggle against the invading British, who prove as lethal in their good intentions as in their cruelty. This is no Eden but a world of hunting parties and colonial ethnic cleansing. As the English passengers near Peevay's land, their bizarre notions ever more painfully at odds with reality, it grows clear that a mighty collision is approaching.
©2001 Matthew Kneale; (P)2001 HarperCollins UK
It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. Although it's historical fiction, the narrative accounts of over 20 people are woven together very well to create a clear story of Tasmania's English settlement and Indigenous history. Humour is not forsaken, even in the tones and language of very Puritanical English settlers. The narration is superb, with a range of accents keeping the voices clear in the listener's mind.
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