I know very little about Australia but Mr. Mardel sure brings the country’s rich culture and heritage alive with this collection of short stories. Never for once did I feel that the characters of his stories belong to an entirely foreign culture. After reading them I feel an overwhelming feeling to visit the country. Maybe one of these days I will!
Anyways, the stories are marked by lucid language that anyone can understand. There are no over-the-top dramatic moments in the stories which I like because I prefer realism over drama. One of the stories I liked very much is “Flames and Wells and Sacred Sites.” I have never visited, much less lived inside a monastery ever in my life so it was enlightening to read what a monastic life could be like. The story also comes with an unexpected ending.
Another story that I liked was “The White Shirt.” The following humorous passage really struck me as an example of weird superstitions some people still believe in:
“When Mother was ill we hired a maid to help out with the cooking and cleaning. When I come home from school Rosa is there with a snack for me. The only thing she doesn’t do is wash the white shirt. Father thinks it brings him luck only when he wears the shirt and I wash it.”
Last but not the least, the bibliography at the end of the book is exhaustive enough to help you a write story book like this, provided that you have got talent like Mr. Mardel. 😛 Jokes apart, this is one book both kids and adults would enjoy. I highly recommend it. I hope the author comes out with another book like this soon. One suggestion: the author should change the book cover, it hardly does justice to the book.