Sunday, 22 July 2012

Review: Butterfly Song

Butterfly Song
Butterfly Song by Terri Janke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stunning. The descriptive passages are deft and evocative of a part of Australia that few of us know much about.

The setting is provoking (law school before Mabo - as a post Mabo law student, I find the setting marvellous) and the themes brilliant. This is totally going on my 101 list, because what is in this book - from the examples of how Indigenous people are treated over and over (such as her experience in the court room) to the pre-Mabo experience, which is so very important for a post Mabo generation (I was in year 8 when Mabo was decided. Because I'm not Indigenous, the pre-Mabo reality never really impacted on me, but this book managed to make me immerse myself in that reality, and that is an experience that I needed.

The depth and specificity of the TSI culture through this book sang through, to what I know of that culture through TV and the odd actual accquaintance. The stupidity of Australian society rang true. The whole book speaks of utter and complete truth. I will be recommending this book to absolutely everyone, because they need to read it. They need to live Tarena's life, if only for the time while they are reading the book. I needed to know this. And so does the rest of this country.

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