This week is another Australian classic from my class set reading list, Thea Astley’s It’s Raining in Mango. My free time is a bit low on the ground at the moment meaning my free reading is getting a little bit limited, but rest assured I’m hoping to get a little bit more done over the month. Keep an eye out for a potential Hunger Games week challenge I’m going to announce over the coming weeks.
Like the title, my week was full of rain, wind and hail so it was a nice feeling to curl up in bed with a hot tea and warm blanket and read.
I did really enjoy this book. It was a bit of a surprise because the pile of books I wanted to read was quite high when I begrudgingly picked this up for class but I am pleased I read it.
The book is really interesting because there are quite a number of characters, plot lines and time periods. The best part is the way each of these characters either interact with or embody historical moments, beliefs or shifts in Australia during the nineteenth century.
With that said, the characters and these movements are not romanticised or overtly celebrated like many traditional Australian narratives, but reflect a serious attempt to analyse both the positives and negatives of these situations.
For me, this made the book and characters more realistic as it didn’t have the pronounced nationalist feel that certain texts sometimes seem to have. It also meant the culture of Australia during this period was more true to the history.
The other unique feature of the book was the Australian climate and landscapes. Rather than use the traditional Australian bush landscape, Astley sets the book in the tropical parts of northern Queensland. This made the book far more interesting as it differs from a lot of the traditional Australian narratives but also meant a number of different themes and concepts could be explored.
The book overall was a surprise and was again another Australian classic that I feel accurately reflected and examined the Australian culture of the nineteenth century. However, if you are searching for a happy ending or a heart-warming and nationalistic piece, this probably isn’t the book for you.
From the internet friend who is holding out for more sunshine and warmer weather,