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PLAYING BEATIE BOW Hardcover – March 1, 1982
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Great details about the era without feeling forced in or a like a history lesson -- just observed with interest and wonder, and then growing acclimation.
The ending is very satisfying -- the loose ends are tied up with a "Bow," you might say.
However this book must have been her attempt at adolescent literature and was one of the few books by her that I have not previously read. It was the subject of various Australian book prizes in the 1980s. There is a clever historical and time travel conceit in the context of a 14 year old girl's maturing and coming of age.
I would give it four stars if it was correctly marketed as a teen / young adult novel. However as seems to be usual these days with upaging, it is incorrectly aimed at tweens, despite various sexual references, other mature themes, a scene where the heroine is kidnapped to work in a brothel before escaping and frequent teenage preoccupations with boyfriends and kissing. Hence it is a good book for teens but definitely not for younger kids. (No stars to the teacher who gave it to my child in primary (middle school) to read)
For those of us who are avid readers, the book is just a delight, both in terms of language and plot. In addition, the story takes place in the old part of Sydney and gives us some fascinating insight into the Rocks area, both past and present. I won't say anything about the storyline - just get ready for some very nicely wrought twists and turns.
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"Abigail Kirk was an ordinary enough fourteen-year-old girl, except that she could not understand the adults around her.Read more