Review of The Ironbark Hill Saga

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Review of The Ironbark Hill Saga

Post by Ekezie1998 »

[Following is an official review of "The Ironbark Hill Saga" by Jennie Linnane.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Ironbark Hill Saga by Jennie Linnane is a fictive narration about a mixed Australian low-class rustic family. The Chapmans or Townsends is a family of six led to live a difficult poverty-stricken life under the iron fist of an alcoholic patriarch. The story sums up their life in the ‘drought-ravaged’ ironbark hill, their wins, setbacks, shenanigans, and experiences together as a family. This narrative, however, focuses majorly on Natalie, Irma’s first daughter from her first marriage.

A girl so gutsy, full of spirit, and brave. But these attributes only put her at the forefront of her step-father’s distaste. Despite the continuous self-depreciation and discrimination meted on her because she is part-aboriginal, she dreams of becoming a landscape artist and her family’s freedom from her step-father. What happens when her dreams do come true? And would the family be able to bear the price for their freedom?

There are significant positive aspects to this book. Complimentary to the novel's settings- the mid-1950s in Australia- the author captured major societal issues dominant within that period. She successfully addressed poverty, discrimination against aboriginal people because of their skin, and farming practices.

The author chose to narrate her story by lending her voice to the characters in the novel. The novel is written from the characters’ point of view. This gave the book a nostalgic tone. It felt like the characters were not created or imagined and told their actual life experiences. I can remember going back to the beginning of the book to confirm that this book is fiction. If the author wanted to create a fictional story with a realistic touch, she succeeded greatly in doing that. More so, the book had a proper resolution. The stories of the different characters were finished off nicely.

I very much enjoyed the way the author was able to portray Natalie’s family; diverse, different, and intriguing personality traits. Jennie Linnane worked a terrific combination of brave Natalie, handsome but intellectually impaired Joey, sassy Shirley, quiet Robyn, and strong Irma. Her characters equally exhibited growth and development both physically and mentally, and emotionally. This could give the book the right to be referred to as a coming-of-age novel. There were minor grammatical errors in the book as well. However, the book was professionally edited.

Likewise, there are negative aspects to this novel. The book was bland, with no action or suspense to spice things up. There were opportunities for the author to turn this book into a suspenseful read, but they were rather wasted. Unless this was intended by the author, she otherwise wrote a basic story. Admittedly, I did applaud the author’s choice to write from the characters’ point of view. However, the author's excessive indulgence in writing from the characters’ point of view has turned this into a downside.

It was pretty absurd for almost every character in the novel to have their point of view written, even George McCauley, a gardener! This decision definitely occasioned the appearance of loads of irrelevant details and backtracking. I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars because of the above observations. I recommend this book to persons that enjoy general fiction that center around one’s right to self-determination.

The Ironbark Hill Saga
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Post by Patty Allread »

I wonder if the family experienced real change or if this was just a "slice of life" story.
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Post by Egoli »

As a new member, I am excited to read this review. I find it interesting and insightful.

I feel for Natalie. I hope her bravery and aliveness see her through.
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Post by Mvuruzo »

Natalie is a character, as well as an inspiration to people undergoing tortuous situations. I really enjoyed this review, and I hope to master the skills required to write a good review soon.
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Post by Akinola John »

I like the way the author inserts his life story into this fictional book. Thanks for the great review.
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Post by Gwrites208 »

The book promised a great read. It's great as the author is able to make the book's characters real by giving them ability to develop physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Post by AfraBrb »

this sounds like nicole kidman's movie where she had an original adopted son, even thought the plot is a little different, great review
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