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Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie…

Nanberry: Black Brother White (2011)

by Jackie French

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Nanberry: Black Brother White is an enchanting historical work of fiction crafted by French in early colonial white settlement times, around 1788 in Sydney Cove. Nanberry, the protagonist of the novel is struggling to find his identity in a black and white world. Nanberry is an aboriginal boy adopted by Surgeon White when his family was struck by small pox. Surgeon White is sent to assist the convicts, but realises white people have brought disease to the Aboriginal tribes. Other characters such as Rachel a convict join White as his mistress and they have a child called Andrew. Rachel eventually became a great lady in her own right. Another character called Maria also a convict adds to this story. This is a novel about survival, identity, loss, love and above all triumph in colonial Australia. It is also about the displacement of Aboriginal people during early settlement. Nanberry is misplaced in a world he really doesn’t feel like he belongs as does Surgeon White, however they form a small family unit in a rather depressing setting of disease and hardship. The telling of this story is a mix of fiction and truth – as true as history allows French to tell it. French has won an array of Australian awards from children’s picture books to gardening. This book was short-listed for the Book of the Year for Younger Readers, although I would disagree with its audience as I think this book has enough complex and rich themes to appeal to an adult market. If you loved A Waltz for Matilda French will definitely capture your heart with this novel too. ( )
  Becthing | Aug 14, 2013 |
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The year is 1788, and in the newly created colony at Sydney Cove is struggling for survival. Seen through the eyes of the colony's only surgeon and Nanberry, the Aboriginal boy adopted by Surgeon White who finds himself uncomfortably between two worlds, it is a new perspective on Australia's earliest days of white settlement.… (more)

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