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JOHN MORROW’S PICK OF THE WEEK
The Janus Illusion
Christine’s story begins in 1914 when young Matt is waiting for his brother Teddy to arrive in the sulky to collect him from the train station at Tarago. Matt hadn’t been home for three months and has lived in Sydney for two years. He is studying law at University but has come to realise how much he loves and misses his family and friends at home.
While waiting for Teddy, he began wondering what Sally, his childhood best friend, was up to. Sally, an Aboriginal girl, had been his closest confidante for years, but at 20 years of age, Matt was beginning to understand why his parents had tried to distance Matt from her. The racial aspect of his and Sally’s relationship was an important consideration for his parents and it was just lately that Matt was coming to terms with their feelings.
At long last, Matt saw dust coming from the Braidwood road and knew Teddy was finally turning up to collect him. However, Matt saw one of his mates, Artie, at the reins, as Teddy had been caught up with the mustering.
Their journey home was taken up with talk of war. Artie was going to enlist but it was not just his feeling of patriotism that had helped him decide. He was looking forward to meeting some of those English girls he’d heard about, the ones with skin like peaches and cream.
After Matt had returned to Uni, Artie found himself more curious about the reasons why Matt had predicted that this war could be a long one. When he arrived in Sydney he wrote a note to Matt telling him that he was joining up and wanted to catch up with him before he left.
Matt despised killing but worried about Artie. How on earth would he look after himself? Before he realised what was happening, Matt found himself in the line waiting patiently to volunteer. Artie was in shock, but glad to have his best mate coming with him.
Christine McCaffrie has written a story initially set in the countryside she grew up in. This novel is a fictional look at the horror of war from the eyes of a naïve country boy.
Written with feeling and skill, the author has breathed life into a story that takes the reader on a journey to Gallipoli in 1915.
“You will come to love the country boys who star in this novel that takes readers on a journey to hell and back.”
“A book is a private companion”
Copyright © 2010 Lisbeth A. Westra. All rights reserved