26 Following

All about me

I read therefore I am


Storyland - Catherine McKinnon This book was a bit of a sleeper for me in that before I knew it, I was carried away. It's not an uplifting book, nor is it a feel good book. But it makes you wonder about how your actions can resonate throughout generations in ways you could never have imagined, and whether what we bequeath future generations is more than an inheritance and hope for a better life, but also our fears and unresolved conflicts. It also made me think whether places and the things within those places that we consider inanimate, have memories that are ingrained within just as they are within the people who lived in those places.

The setting of the colonisation/invasion of Australia and how the traditional owners and the settlers navigated this is a rich setting for this. The story shows the harmonious enmeshing that inevitably occurs, but also the conflicts that result and the damage they can do.

The hardest part of the book to read was the passage set in the future. This was largely because I didn't quite understand the narrative that McKinnon utilised at first. But once I got it, it was compelling.

I also enjoyed the device she employed in moving from one passage to the next. They were in effect literary wormholes that allowed you to travel from one time to the next. I felt McKinnon was hinting that time isn't linear, but it wraps around on itself, with all the pain, joy, fear and stories we tell along with it, and bumps up against other times and places.

If someone was to ask me "did you enjoy the book?", I couldn't say yes emphatically, but I most certainly wouldn't say no. I would say that I am very glad I read the book and I will experience a post-reading haunting for quite a while yet.