Overall rating and opinion of "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
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Juliet Muia
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane

Post by Juliet Muia » 03 May 2018, 00:57

The ability of a young girl to take care of her mother as depicted through the character of Natalie is commendable. This is quite an inspiration for both the young and old people, especially in the contemporary society. However, it is sad that the mother did not take up her responsibility to support Natalie.

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Post by carneysm50 » 03 May 2018, 12:31

I though this book was very good owing to Natalie's toleration of household abuse and concern for her family members. How she survives the "deficiency of funds and an excess of creditors" that is her family's circumstance makes a interesting story.

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Post by Jonida » 03 May 2018, 15:34

Natalie is a strong girl struggling to overcome the difficulties and the abusement. She is the girl that fights with heart, that's why I love her character. Yes, a good book.

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Post by Palfree » 04 May 2018, 17:16

I enjoyed the book especially the detailed descriptions of the characters and setting. The detailed writing really helped the reader picture what was happening in the story. Since the characters were so well written the reader is able to relate to them.

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Post by Samantha333 » 05 May 2018, 11:41

Honestly I feel the book is worth a read. The main character was easy to take to, although I was a little caught off guard by the ending. I’m glad this author earned BOTM and also got to gain a little more exposure and feedback to contribute to future works. I don’t know if I would recommend this book to others, but I wouldn’t say anything bad about it.

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Post by Lg_99 » 06 May 2018, 13:23

I have not read the book, so I do not have an opinion yet. However, I've seen a lot of good reviews, so I might give it a try and see how it goes.

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Post by nikkyteewhy » 06 May 2018, 15:21

I liked this book very much, Natalie is a very strong character. I will recommend this book to everyone

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Post by Faithmwangi » 08 May 2018, 04:16

I was intrigued by this book. Truly love makes the world go round.However, i must admit that i was also disappointed by the mum. I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates inspiration.

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Post by lisamcogutu » 08 May 2018, 06:53

Natalie being submitted to abuse is such a pity. It saddens me much that she had to undergo such torture.

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Post by Happyday90 » 08 May 2018, 15:17

I haven’t read the book. But I will say that based on everyone’s comments that it’s seems to be a good read. I can’t say if i’d Recommend but as someone else mentioned there is a lot to be learned from struggles and circumstances. At the same time I hope the book is not depressing.

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Post by zod » 09 May 2018, 05:50

What I like most about Ironbark Hill is that, the farm which was located at Ironbark Hill and owned by her Natalie Chapman’s Grandpa, Elphic, who was the father of her mother (Irma), was the memorial site for Natalie’s unhappy childhood that was caused by her stepfather’s abusive behavior.
Indeed, Natalie is a symbol of many voiceless children in this world who have been abused by their stepfathers in the homes of their biological mothers.
But I dislike the author‘s failure to bring out how Alex picked a bad temper and become alcoholic.
I have already rated the book 4 out of 4 stars and recommended it to young girls, men and especially women who sacrifice their children for the love of their stepfathers.
Any reader will draw valuable lessons as I have stated in the discussion on valuable lessons.

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Post by Happyday90 » 09 May 2018, 20:21

It’s sad to say that the story is relatable to many. It is great for people to read it, especially those who faced the same struggles. It will let them know that they are not in it alone.

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Post by lisamcogutu » 11 May 2018, 06:41

Natalie, a true epitome of courage and conservancy in human nature. I feel pity for her when she has to suffer for other's case.
I haven't read the book in full, but the sample and review I read is much enough to recommend it to anyone.
Feasting on a carrion involves less risk than hunting. Meat is meat, whichever way it is attained.

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Post by orangehornet57 » 12 May 2018, 00:29

Ironbark Hill was definitely an unique book. It told of Natalie Chapman's 16th year. Some of the language tended to be flowery at times. That could be good and bad. Descriptions were often very vivid. At other times such words could be distracting.

Did anyone find it hard to establish place and setting? Alex's use of the word bloody suggested a connection with England. Natalie's mention of her racial heritage established the book in Australia. Knowing the historical time wasn't easy either. Automobiles noted semi modern times. Clothing let us know it wasn't too modern. For instance I noticed no mention of female characters wearing trousers. That might have helped Natalie in some crucial scenes.

The book's best part were the characters. Natalie was very believable as a teenage girl navigating so many things. As the oldest child, she helped take care of her siblings, grandfather, and mother. Her stepfather Alex is the ultimate villain. I know of men who took to drink after losing a child. The battle of wits over Natalie's prize heifer Libby is a recurring theme. Yet most of the characters have good and bad qualities. Even Alex and Natalie once had a good relationship.

Teenagers can do both good and bad things. Natalie did her job at the hotel well. She took art lessons from Mrs. Glover. Her goal was to become a landscape painter. Yet she got involved with Mr. Glover. Not heeding her mom's advice regarding neighbor Sam Teagle would be a huge mistake.

The most longsuffering character would have to be her mom. She lost one husband, then ended up in a hard second marriage. Her birthday present to Natalie was altering one of her dresses. At one point she finally had enough of Alex's drinking and abusive behavior.

Some visitors provide another perspective. Natalie envied the daughter. But the son was a big handful. Did anyone else remember a scene from John Grisham's A Painted House? There was an argument over The African Queen. Maybe such incidents inspired the Internet.

My biggest complaint was over some of the language. Profanity still bothers me. I hope that never changes. The use of dialect made some parts confusing to read. Did anyone else use an Amazon Fire Tablet? Natalie's treatment of her faith wasn't enjoyable. Many teenagers do have questions. Some leave their faith, but come back later.

Those few complaints would make it a little hard for me to recommend this book to others. I'd probably give them a heads up first. The book was a better read than a few I've encountered. Hopefully the author continues to improve her craft.

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Post by thelittlelibrary » 12 May 2018, 09:13

I haven't read this book yet but I've found it really interesting to read the peoples opinions on it. I'm looking forward to reading it now because of the positive feedback. The most common theme I've seen is that is is an inspirational story for everyone!

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