Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tears of the Moon

Di Morrissey wrote Tears of the Moon in 1995, the first of three books set in the Kimberley. The star of the novel is Broome and surrounding area. In 2012 we visited the Kimberley, particularly Broome and then north to Cape Leveque. As soon as we returned I borrowed a copy of Tears of the Moon, from the library and loved reading it. After recently reading The Red Coast I decided to read this book again and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

There are two time frames in the book, 1995, when Lily decides to investigate her family history, particularly attempting to locote information about her mother, Georgiana's, family. This leads her to Broome where she discovers family information in diaries and exhibits held at the historical society. The diaries commence in 1893 and continue to 1953.

The diaries tell the story of Olivia Hennessy who travels from Englnd to the area south of Brrome with her husband, Conrad, to start a new life. Life in the outback is much tougher than they expected and eventually they move to Broome, after meeting Captain John Tyndall, to become involved in the pearling industry.

This novel is largely a love story but part of the book also deals with how people adapt to life living in an isolated community. Olivia's story describes the impact of two world wars as well as the 1930s depression on Broome's pearling industry . The dangers of the industryfeature as well as the success stories which can occur in this mutli-racial and multi-cultural community. Race relations including the interaction of the lives of aboriginal communities with the white and Asian communities who also make Broome home form an imprtant thread of the book.

Read on a number of levels Tears of the Moon is an Australian book well worth reading.

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