Reading is one of the pleasures in life that I don’t get to do very often. I have been reading a lot of educational literature, and non-fiction, and have been longing to pick up a fictional book or a historical novel for a change. I got to read “Matriarch – an Australian Novel of Love and War” by Geoffrey Hope Gibson this week.
This book embraces Australian history and tells from the perspective of the indigenous people a heart-wrenching story of a family with interracial marriage, attitude towards them, and how life turned out for them starting almost 100 years ago. The story starts by plunging the readers into how an English Lord met and married an indigenous woman, and then goes on through the times of war and peace, and concludes with a story of a serial murder. Throughout the book intricate family stories and relationships are masterfully described by the author.
I was happy to read about Australian history in this book, as I haven’t read much about it previously, and it gave me a lot of food for thought. So much of our past is often based on opinions, and conventions. I wish people would just leave differences behind, and not let the fact that someone is of a different appearance, upbringing or race be of any importance, whether back in the past or now. We are all people in the world, and it should not matter what color our skin is, where we are from, and how much money we have. In the end, we are all people, of human race, and we are all the same. It is important to understand our differences, but not let differences isolate us, especially in one family.
A lot of other thoughts have come to my mind as I was reading the book. And, inevitably, I was applying the events in the book to my own family. Just like this family from Australia has had to deal with wars, inheritances, and family disagreements, we have had our share of these as well. It amazes me how many different outcomes some of the similar situations we have dealt with could happen. Seeing how the matriarch of this Australian family has had to resolve issues is so similar to our own matriarchs.
If you are interested in reading historical novels, and mystery, this is a very educational read!
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