The story of an illegal immigrant who arrives in Australia by boat and goes on to become the Prime Minister. The story of a woman at the end of hope who is rescued from a smuggler’s boat only to become enslaved. The story of a man who has lost his way, and needs a cause for which to fight, and a reason to live. These three lives collide in Ashmore Grief: an epic tale of struggle. The struggle to survive, the struggle to belong and the struggle for purpose.
As we will be discussing this book with the author next month at our ‘An Audience With …’ program, this post will just briefly touch on our conversation and opinions of Ashmore Grief.
Firstly, we had one of our best discussions yet! The opportunity to air one’s opinions in an open and broad-minded environment (eg. a bookclub meeting), means everyone is listened to and individual views accepted in a mature and liberal manner.
Generally our group enjoyed this contemporary, yet slightly controversial novel. It was felt a few of the details (important ones, some of us believed) were a little vague and we would have liked something more of the finer points drawn out. There was also some consternation concerning the fairytale ending … although enjoyed by some, others felt it was all a little too neat and nice.
Nevertheless, this book created an extremely interesting and energized conversation. By taking the diverse viewpoint of refugees, border control and the politicians, Cairns has given verve to what we all should be talking about as a nation. The humanity question regarding refugees.
We look forward to talking to David about his novel next month. If you enjoy lively, intelligent conversation about books and things that matter, why not join us at Dapto Library,Wednesday 14 May at 5:30pm.