Saturday, December 22, 2012

Australian Women Writers: Georgia Blain's Candelo

This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012

There are mysteries at the heart of Candelo. Violetta takes her family on holiday at Australian coastal town Candelo: narrator Ursula who is fourteen, her brother Simon and younger sister Evie. They are joined by Mitchell Jenkins who Vi is fostering. Mitchell's magnetic presence changes their lives, and his own, irrevocably.

The story moves between Candelo flashbacks and Ursula as an adult. Her troubled relationships with Vi and Simon are reflected in her struggle to make sense of her own life and loves.

Ursula blames her mother, believing that Vi put her political activism ahead of her children. As she explores both past and present, we visit many dark places and wounds that could not heal without the kind of openness that none of them have displayed.

There is some hope at the end, if not resolution. Prepare to be challenged.

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