Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Morgan is 15 when she discovers that she is not white but aboriginea fact that has been kept secret because of society's stigma. Rather than tell the children about their heritage, her mother and grandmother have let them believe early ancestors emigrated to Australia from India. The teen-aged Morgan, having been an indifferent student at best, throws herself into her studies and then single-mindedly embarks on a search for her roots. Her quest is hampered by her grandmother's refusal to discuss the past but helped by an elderly great uncle, who is an accomplished raconteur, and leads her to the past and to other people. Morgan is a gifted storyteller, and this story is sad, triumphant, hilarious, and sensitive. For all public library collections. Joan Hinkemeyer, Englewood P.L., Col. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Growing up in Perth, Australia, in an impoverished, but lively and chaotic household dominated by her mother and grandmother, Morgan was 15 before she realized that she and her four siblings were of mixed Aboriginal descent. In this autobiography, she describes her efforts to identify with and record her family heritage. Oral histories gathered from her reticent and still fearful mother and grandmother, anxious to shield their children from the social stigma of their origins, are supplemented with accounts from relatives she tracked down in Northwest Australia's Aboriginal Reserves and livestock stations. They vividly describe the suffering caused by a government policy that took half-caste Aboriginal children away from their mothers. Although some Aborigines have successfully competed in Australian society, the author seems to agree with her uncle's contention that colonialism is not yet over and does not accord Aborigines either equalityes pecially land rightsor freedom to pursue their own way of life. (September) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Morgan's autobiography is told like a story to an old friend. Growing up in Australia, the author lived an eventful rural life with rascally siblings, a crotchety grandmother, and a dizzy mother. The family's life became relatively carefree after Morgan's troubled father died of alcoholism. Tales of crazy escapades and eccentricities abound. But when Morgan discovered her aboriginal roots, she found herself confused about her identity and embittered by prejudice. In her quest for her true family and culture, she researched and now relates in their own words the stories of her mother, grandmother, and grandmother's brother. Morgan is a natural storyteller with much to say about Australian history, society, and one very interesting family. DGR. 994'.0049915 (B) Morgan, Sally-Family / Western Australia-Biography / Australian aborigines-Australia-Western Australia-Social conditions / Western Australia-Social life and customs / Race discrimination-Australia-Western Australia / Australian aborigines-Australia-Western Australia-Mixed bloods-Biography [OCLC] 88-15762
Kirkus Book Review
In part, a memoir of a close-knit Australian family; in part, Morgan's reconstruction of her genealogy and the solution to the mystery that had shrouded it. Morgan was reared in Perth, in Western Australia, in a household teeming with children, animals, and visiting relatives. Her beautiful, feisty, widowed Mum supported the mÉnage as a cleaning woman and as a successful flower-shop proprietor. Dark-complected Nan (Australian for grandma) ran the household in a cavalier but generally effective way. Although very much her own woman, Nan was strangely fearful of authority, in particular the government rentman who appeared monthly at the publicly owned house. Not until she was 15 did Morgan learn that the family was part Aborigine. Some years later, encouraged by her white husband--and over the objections of Mum and Nan, who at first refused to supply any information--Morgan decided to write a family history. Several interviews with members of a family that once employed Nan, a long tape-recorded life-story by Nan's 93-year-old brother Arthur, and a visit to Corunna Downs Station--where Morgan met many of her Aborigine relatives--lifted the veil somewhat. Finally, Mum and even Nan fleshed out the history when they recorded their own stories. As it turns out, Nan's mother was a full-blooded Aborigine named Annie; her father was the wealthy white owner of the station. Nan refused to divulge the name of the man who fathered Mum--but he may have been a high-toned Englishman named Jack Grime. The tapes (printed in their entirety) reveal that Nan, Arthur, and Mum had all been torn from their Aborigine mothers in accordance with a law that required children with white blood to be educated as white Australians. This was why the family never mentioned its Aborigine blood, and why Nan was so terrified of officialdom. An interesting glimpse of a people trying to straddle two worlds. Highlights: the three tangy, vivid life stories. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.