Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760631628
(Age: Older teens and young adults) Highly recommended. 9/10. Themes: Crime, thriller, spiritual story. This is a book for those who enjoy exciting fiction with twists and turns and those who have an open mind. Nothing is quite as you start to think when working through the novel through the minds, thoughts and experiences of Beth Teller and Isobel Catching. Both young girls are Aboriginal and they both have and share a spirituality which is beautifully depicted. Their spirituality and those of the tribal women of the past is very credible, strong and serene. It brings a sense of another dimension which exists and can possibly be accepted by even the most skeptical non-believer of anything that cannot be explained by logic and science.
Beth struggles to stay in "the world of now" in order to support her grieving father. She is a lost soul who is tied to the physical dimension but realizes that she needs to move on to the world that she belongs to. Her father is a detective who is in the midst of solving a murder and the circumstances of a tragic fire in a children's home. Only he can see and hear Beth (or is he??), but he knows that this ghost and his need for the ghost is tormenting him from accepting what cannot be changed and hence making the most of his life and his instinct to reach out to his wonderful extended family.
Isobel Catching has suffered more than most people can endure. Throughout the novel she remains tough, elusive and a mystery, yet it is Isobel who helps Beth's father find clues, seek answers about the terrible and shocking circumstances that have been perpetuated in the small rural country town. In the colonial past, recent past and present time, the aboriginal community lack a voice to defend themselves and seek justice, hence Isobel is the protagonist who speaks out, who struggles to make the injustices experienced by present and past aboriginal women heard, understood and fought for. Isobel has paid a heavy price but she is strong - a strong young woman who is descended from strong women who transfer their gentle power and wisdom through spiritual connections and well-remembered stories.
About the Author - Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. Brother and sister authors who are Aboriginal Palyku from the Pilbara region, North Western Australia. This novel is their first joint effort writing a young adult fiction. They have magically woven fiction prose with story-telling in simple language and artistically elegant poetry.