The White Earth

The White Earth

Book - 2006
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"The saga of the McIvors is nothing less than a grim and supremely entertaining take on colonialism in Australia and the tortured, stained hearts of all its New World cousins. A-."- Entertainment Weekly
 
"McGahan scrutinizes his characters without puppetry, and his prose moves with grace, smoothness and a gift for setting."- San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Absorbing, disturbing, almost gothic, by turns, as McGahan depicts the inextricability of family and the primal hunger for finding and naming home."-Valerie Miner, The Boston Globe
 
After his father's death, young William is cast upon the charity of an unknown great-uncle, John McIvor. The old man was brought up expecting to marry the heiress to Kuran Station-a grand estate in the Australian Outback-only to be disappointed by his rejection and the selling off of the land. He has devoted his life to putting the estate back together and has moved into the once-elegant mansion.
 
McIvor tries to imbue William with his obsession, but his hold on the land is threatened by laws entitling the Aborigines to reclaim sacred sites. William's mother desperately wants her son to become John McIvor's heir, but no one realizes that William is ill and his condition is worsening.
 
The White Earth won Australia's Miles Franklin Award for 2005 and was selected as Book of the Year (2004) by The Age and the The Courier-Mail.
 
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho, c2006
ISBN: 9781569474174
1569474176
Branch Call Number: F MCG NVD

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GLNovak
Nov 16, 2014

William and his widowed mother go to live with his Uncle John (at least I think he is his uncle) and before he knows it, he is pulled into John's nightmare of a life. John, brought up to believe he is the heir to a grand farm estate, has seen it all snatched from him. He worked his whole life to regain his treasured inheritance and now is dying. He sees William as the perfect chance to pass on the land he has gathered to himself and maintain the dynasty pictured in his brain. The whole tone of the book is bleak. There has been a drought for years and no farm is flourishing. Changes in agriculture, markets and big business ownership have made their mark. You know as you read this story that there are dark dark secrets under the fragile surface and you worry that William will come to harm. I found this story kept me interested and reading to the very last page.

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