Wandering Girl By Glenyse Ward Published by Magabala Books Aboriginal Cooperation, 1998. 157 pages. The story Wandering Girl is about an Aboriginal girl named Glenyse who was put into a Wandering Mission. At the age of sixteen, she was to leave and work for a wealthy white family without choice; but by the end of the book, she finally escapes to have a better future. The book was chosen as a standard reading resource for the year ten curriculum. Might I say I really didn’t enjoy reading the book, mainly because during my school experience I have read many books like this one.
I was hoping for a new adventure; not the same old storyline. The book, in my opinion was like reading a story that wasn’t rich enough in depth, it felt disjointed. I would have liked more interaction and conversations experienced between each of the character. The book was very plain, like a children’s novel. She said this and he angrily replied that, I thought. To be quite honest, that’s what drew me off of it. It wasn’t a positive reading experience, it was boring and my mind didn’t want to engage with the book.
Every character in the book was believable, but I didn’t have a favourite. None of the characters resinated with me. I couldn’t relate to what the characters were going through or how they felt. What they did or were going through didn’t catch my attention. I looked at the book, trying to relate with each character; but none of them/or me wanted to connect. We were like two of the same magnets with the same charge. The author though, did well with creating the characters as realistically as she could. The story to me seemed as two way street, real with a hint of fakery within the book.
Every character had that realistic vibe, yet they all seemed to be imaginary. My interest wasn’t held throughout the whole entire novel. The first ten pages, I was in; but when I reached page eleven, I knew what was going down. I was interested to hear about the missionary, what it was about. Nevertheless I didn’t want to hear about another girl in the same situation. I have always felt bad about the stolen generation, but having to hear the same type of story again and again; it took out all of my interest.
I tried giving it a fair go, but it didn’t mix with me; I was the oil and the book was the water. Favourite scene in the novel would have had to be the moment when she saw her friend from the mission, for the first time in months. The connection between them was there, completely obvious to the reader (myself). I enjoyed that moment because I knew they had history which created a nice section in the book itself. Knowing that she had a past with one of the characters, made the book that slightly more pleasant.
Having only one enjoyable moment in the book, I would’ve liked to change a lot of things in the book. For example, I would have liked Ms Bigelow to have karma come and bite her in the behind. I wanted her to experience something bad in repayment for what she did to Glenyse. Yes that sounds a bit sore, but justice would’ve been something nice to serve within those 157 pages. I also would have also liked to of heard more about her future. Maybe a paragraph about the rest of her life story or a chapter on her achievements in life.
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