A waltz for Matilda by Jackie French

published by Angus & RobertsonThis story is set between 1894 and 1915 and Jackie French has incorporated many historical facts into this story.  Women’s rights and the federation of Australia are part of this story.

Matilda’s aunt and than her mother die so she leaves the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm.  Her search leads her to a community divided by the shearers’ strike and because of this and a very serious drought; her father has decided to turn swaggie.  Maltilda and her dad hit the road but are caught by the troopers and the local squatter, at a billabong.  They say that Matilda’s dad had stolen a sheep, so he tries to escape by jumping into the billabong but he is caught in the water weeds and drowns.  Matilda takes over the farm with the help of an aboriginal elder Auntie Love and some of her father’s friends.  During her journey through life, Matilda discovers that there are many kinds of love.

Great read.

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