Today I am delighted to have poet and author D. Avery as my Treasuring Poetry guest. Do come over and read her thoughts on poetry. I have also shared my review of her powerful poetry book, For the Girls.
Today, I am delighted to welcome poet and author D. Avery. Ms Avery is the creator of the fun and well-known characters Kid and Pal who frequent Carrot Ranch Literary Community She also has her own blog where she shares her flash fiction, poetry and other literary endeavours. You can find her blog here: https://shiftnshake.wordpress.com/.
At first I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Treasuring Poetry with Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle. Then I read the questions! Too hard! Actually, I misread the questions and was flustered enough to consider who my favorite poet might be, let alone poem.
Robbie’s questions led me down many a rabbit hole, but perhaps not so many as I might have if I were under the same roof as my collection of poetry books. I’m not, so I let my mind travel and recall those shelves…
A powerful story of sisters cruelly torn apart by a shameful event in British-Australian history. Clare Flynn, author of The Pearl of Penang London 1962. A strict and loveless English children’s home, or the promise of Australian sunshine, sandy beaches and eating fruit straight from the tree. Which would you choose? Ten-year-old Lucy Rivers and her five-year-old sister Charly are thrilled when a child migrant scheme offers them the chance to escape their miserable past. But on arrival in Sydney, the girls discover their fantasy future is more nightmare than dream. Lucy’s lot is near-slavery at Seabreeze Farm where living conditions are inhuman, the flies and heat unbearable and the owner a sadistic bully. What must she do to survive? Meanwhile Charly, adopted by the nurturing and privileged Ashwood family, gradually senses that her new parents are hiding something. When the truth emerges, the whole family crumbles. Can Charly recover from this bittersweet deception? Will the sisters, stranded miles apart in a strange country, ever find each other again? A poignant testament to child migrants who suffered unforgivable evil, The Lost Blackbird explores the power of family bonds and our desire to know who we are.
I reviewed this book in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you would like your book reviewed, you can contact Rosie Amber here: http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.
The Lost Blackbird is an intriguing novel about a group of child migrants who are taken from a shelter for children in England and shipped to Australia. The children are misled about a number of things including that siblings would stay together and that their lives would be better in Australia. This story is based on true facts about the English child migrants to a number of British colonies and was particularly shocking for me as this story took place in the 1960s.
Sisters, Charley, aged 5, and Lucy Rivers, aged 10, agree to go to Australia following the death of their abusive father and subsequent arrest of their mother who is accused of manslaughter. Easthaven children’s home is run by sour and unkind spinsters who have no sympathy for the children in their care. Charley is not thriving and Lucy hopes that she will rally a bit in the warm climate in Australia. Lucy’s best friend, Vinnie Armstrong, also gets selected for the relocation as well as Jane Baxter, whose face is disfigured due to a cleft palate which has been badly repaired, and twins, Patty and Sara, who both wear thick glasses. Lucy is a bit suspicious as she can see that it’s the children with physical imperfections and troublemakers, like herself and Vinnie, who are selected to go to Australia. She goes ahead with it because she hopes it will be better for Charley.
This book is well researched and insightful about the hardships and abuse faced by many of these child migrants who are sent to farms and treated as slave labour. A few of the fortunate younger children are adopted.
The character of Lucy is well developed and it was sad to read her story of years of physical abuse at the hands of Milton Yates, who takes a group of older migrants on their to help him run his farm. It was disconcerting and poignant to watch Lucy’s self esteem and confidence being eroded away to nothing. Lucy eventually loses the fight and becomes a victim of her circumstances.
Charley, on the other hand, has a different life as the adopted child of a wealthy couple who have no children of their own. Charley’s life seems idyllic but nothing in her life is as it seems.
The two girls live in the same part of Australia and their paths are destined to cross again later in their lives with some surprising outcomes.
This is a well written and enjoyable read and will appeal to readers who enjoy historical novels with a good outcome.
This week’s theme is “towering.” What towers over you, literally, like walls, mountains, or actual towers? Or is it figuratively, like huge goals or tasks set before you, that feel like mountains of stress, for example?
Author and illustrator, Judy Mastrangelo, has created the most delightful set of oracle cards called Inspirational Visions. They come in a lovely box with a book to explain the meaning of each card.
I have only recently learned about Tarot Cards and their interpretations and the concept of oracle cards was totally new to me when I received this pack so I looked up the difference on the internet in case any of my readers are as inexperienced in this area as I am.
I found an article by Alexandra Svokos on elitedaily.com which explained the difference like this:
“You may already know how tarot cards work — or at least, what they are. A tarot deck is a classic set of 78 cards that fall under the category of major or minor arcana. From there, the cards are divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles). Tarot cards are studied and interpreted by expert readers, primarily to speak to a person’s life story.
Oracle cards, on the other hand, are more free-wheeling from the set structure of tarot. An oracle deck can essentially be whatever the creator of the deck wants it to be — they pick how many cards are in it, what sorts of imagery it’ll use, and what purpose it’s supposed to serve. There are many different types of oracle decks that come in all shapes, sizes, and functions. The basic set-up is that they have images and words, along with a book that explains ways in which a reader should interpret them.”
The intention of these cards is to provide inspiration for insight for readers of the cards. Each card is beautifully made from good quality card and the illustrations are simply amazing. The message on each card is embellished and expanded in the accompanying booklet.
I selected a card from the pack and it was Alice and the White Rabbit. The message was “Follow adventure down the rabbit hole.“
The expanded message is as follows:
“Throw caution to the winds, and let your hair down. Join the Excitement of a new adventure.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and thrilling. Keep your eyes ope and protect yourself from mishaps, but enjoy every minute of the fun.“
What a lovely card! I am thinking about it as I feel I have reached a crossroads in my life and have some big decisions to make over the next few weeks. I have always been over-cautious so this is an extraordinary card for me to have selected at this junction in my life.
This is a lovely idea and I do believe I will find these cards to be a wonderful source of inspiration for my daily life.