Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nine days

A photograph in the Argus Archives at the State Library of Victoria inspired Toni Jordan to write the novel Nine Days. Each of the chapters recounts one day in the life of a member of a family living in Richmond from the late 1930s until recent times. Although not in chronological order, collectively the individual stories tell the story of Kip and his family. The challenges of poorer families struggling to survive in the inner suburbs of Melbourne before, during and immediately after World War II are a focus of the book. The importance of objects in maintaining memories is shown via a one shilling coin that Kip was given when he was 13, a common thread in the stories, and a photograph of Kips's sister discovered many years after her death. This is a story of family life and love, often during challenging times.

The author acknowledges two non-fiction books that she read when resourcing background information for the book - On the home front by Kate Darien-Smith, an account of life in Australia during the Second World War, and Struggletown by Janet McCalman, a story of life in Richmond from 1900 to the 1960s. Both of these books are also worth reading.

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