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Editorial Reviews

In D'Arcy Niland's The Shiralee, a pastoral tale of itinerant worker Macaulay and his four-year-old daughter, Buster, actor James Condon pitch-perfectly creates a cast of unmistakeable characters straight out of the Australian countryside. As they drift through towns looking for work and a place to sleep, Macaulay considers Buster to be a "shiralee", something burdensome in local parlance, and his resentment is clear. Buster chips away at Macauley's hard exterior until he can't imagine life without her. Condon's ear for the way people talk complements Niland's vivid descriptions, bringing rural Australia and this unique relationship clearly into focus.

Publisher's Summary

A true Australian classic, warmly welcomed into the Bolinda Classics range. A shiralee is a swag, a burden, a bloody millstone - and that's what four-year-old Buster is to her father, Macauley. He takes the child on the road with him to spite his wife, but months pass and still no word comes to ask for the little girl back.

Strangers to each other at first, father and daughter drift aimlessly through the dusty towns of Australia, sleeping rough and relying on odd jobs for food and money. Buster's resilience and trust slowly erode Macauley's resentment, and when he's finally able to get rid of her, he realises he can't let his shiralee go.

In evocative prose that vividly conjures images of rural Australia, The Shiralee reveals an understanding of the paradoxical nature of the burdens we carry and creates a moving portrait of fatherhood, told with gruff humour and a gentle pathos.

©2009 D'Arcy Niland; (P)2009 Bolinda

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  • Mrs. K. I. Richards
  • 07-19-15

enjoyable story of a father and daughter.

Any additional comments?

buster is a little girl dressed to look more like a boy. she is either carried or walks behind her dad as they travel from town to town him meeting old acquaintances and looking for work.<br/>you get involved with these two characters as they move from place to place macauley unable to settle down anywhere and buster loving her dad.<br/>recommend

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  • Rosemary
  • 02-28-15

loved it so much replayed it over again

Fantastic book in all areas.story and narrating highly recommended, if you are into Australiana this is a must.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful