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Poor Man's Orange by Ruth Park

Poor Man's Orange

by Ruth Park

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In Poor Man's Orange we continue to live with all the lows and occasional highs of the Darcy family living in the poor suburb of Surry Hills in Sydney. As all the characters were introduced in the Harp in the South, Ruth Park is able to jump straight in and explore all of them in much greater detail. The novel gets to the heart of each character and the struggles they face during each and every day. I found myself wishing if only you could whisper words of advice or drag characters to a needed destination you feel as though you could make life just a little easier for them but their path seems set from the beginning and they are not willing or able to change it. Unlike the other reviewer I did not find it depressing but impressed that Park could sum up parts of the Australian psyche in these characters. Spending the first 30 years of my life there I have seen the thoughts and actions from this book expressed in real life 50 years after it was written.

I would recommend this book to anyone but suggest starting with Harp in the South ( )
  fmgee | Jun 24, 2010 |
Having not enjoyed A Harp in the South, I was reluctant to read this sequel. However, either from the differences between the books or from a change of reading preferences, I found Poor Man's Orange quite a good book. Don't mistake me, it was still a hard book to read. I prefer reading to escape, not to be thrust down into a world of despair and poverty. But the book was lyrical, and echoed of hope. I loved Dolour's character and that she was able to rise above her surroundings. I love that there are actually a few characters that I can admire. ( )
  jennannej | Jan 8, 2008 |
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Roie, the older Darcy daughter, has married Charlie Rothe and is pregnant with her second child; 16-year-old Dolour compensates for her adolescent gawkiness by lavishing her affection on her niece Moira. Roie dies in childbirth, a tragedy made more palpable by the wealth of love that has enriched her marriage to Charlie. Now two children must be cared for by Mumma Darcy and Dolour, while Dadda the shiftless, irrepressible Hugh Darcy, older here but no more responsible continues to carouse and even, to his shame, bring gifts to a prostitute. The inconsolable Charlie, hitherto hardworking and dependable, loses his way, and the family is mired for a time in poverty and hopelessness.… (more)

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