Review Blog

Apr 04 2013

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

cover image

Unversity of Queensland Press, 2013. ISBN 9780702239199.
(Age: Senior secondary - adult) The intriguing cover of Mullumbimby signals an absorbing story. The beautifully photographed image of rusty barbed wire around a bird's nest is a metaphor for Jo's life. Of Bundjalung descent, she has recently bought back some of her people's land and this is the catalyst for meeting new people and starting different strands in her life.
Jo gets together with gorgeous, dreadlocked Twoboy who is spear-heading native title claims. The Goories from Brisbane are also claiming native title and there is an ominous expectation of war between 'blackfellas'. The battle for land becomes personal for Jo; particularly when her beloved colt, Comet, is entangled in wire fencing on what she believes is her land. This scene is one of the most shocking and memorable in the novel. Jo's daughter, Ellen, is a talented artist who uses Aboriginal elements and knowledge of country in her work. The characters' links with the country embody the spiritual and mystical elements of the story. Indigenous author, Melissa Lucashenko steeps her story in Indigenous lore, particularly with the ancestors, who are still part of life.
Place is paramount in this novel. The town of Mullumbimby (nicknamed Mullum), near Byron Bay in northern NSW, is obviously well-known and described. Here, as in many places, parents have to keep their children alive. 'Just keep the jahjam breathing and hope remains.' Bundjalung and Yugambeh languages are interspersed with Aboriginal English at times.
The adult content - sex, drugs and swearing - limit this novel to mature secondary readers but, overall, it has great value for its insight into Indigenous Australia.
Joy Lawn

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates