Review Blog

Jul 06 2016

Here where we live by Cassie Flanagan Willanski

cover image

Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743054031
(Age: 16+) Recommended. The nine short stories in Here where we live are set in South Australia but their themes are universal. Cassie Flanagan Willanski's characters deal with those turning points in life when complexity is unavoidable and choices are difficult. Readers can recognise and be moved by the unintended consequences of a child's impulsive behaviour, the passage from adolescence to adulthood, the challenge of combining parenthood with long-held dreams, divorce and the death of a partner. Intertwined with these lives are the characters' relationships with Indigenous people and the landscape. Attempts to reconcile conflicted feelings in personal lives are mirrored in the search by Australians for reconciliation with their history.
The author's use of language is economical but vivid. Whether writing in the first or third person, as an adult or as a child, her skill as a short story writer is evident in her ability to create convincing characters and their worlds in a few pages. She also ensures that her readers are constantly aware of the environment, the physical sensations it evokes and its emotional impact. Interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are thought-provoking and capture the feelings of the participants - the sadness and confusion caused by cultural misunderstanding, and the peace of mind derived from shared experience and acceptance. Issues such as the Hindmarsh Island Bridge controversy and atomic testing in South Australia and Nevada are handled with sensitivity.
Here where we live is challenging, occasionally confronting, multifaceted and satisfying literature for mature readers.
Elizabeth Bor

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
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