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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wind from Danyari by Laurel Lamperd

Wind from Danyari by Laurel Lamperd
Publisher: Wings ePress
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

When Joe Hennessy saw Alicia Pennington, the beautiful spoilt daughter of one of Perth’s leading businessmen, he wanted her, but would she make a suitable wife to take to Walara, his sheep station, in the north of Western Australia?

Survival and the biological urge to procreate are primary issues in Wind from Danyari. Much of this story is told rather than shown. I didn’t feel a particular affinity with any of the characters. They seem to be stereotypes. But, the story I will remember because it is a tribute to the people who came to an unfamiliar, harsh country and made lives for themselves often at great cost. It also reveals much about the culture of the aborigines who had roamed that country for countless years. Since I’m a Texan, this story reminds me of the pioneering stories my ancestors passed down about the hardships they endured as they settle in inhospitable country with hostile Indians all round them.

This novel tells of happens from 1712 to 1939. In 1712 Jan Bakker and Willem, the cabin boy were the only two of 200 souls to survive the wrecked ship Zuydorp. Each of them sired a child with an aborigines girl.

In 1885, a fifteen-year-old boy ran away from an abusive father and named himself Joe Hennessy. He made his way in the harsh world of wild Australia. His life is a tale of backbreaking work as he grows to manhood in the rough and tumble gold fields of Australia and finally in the Gascoyne district where he put together a sheep station.

While in Perth on business, Joe meets Alicia Pennington, a society lady. He desires her and wants her for his wife. Against her mother’s wishes, Alicia marries Joe and moves to Walara, Joe’s sheep station, a long, long way from town. This is the setting for the major part of this novel. The co-existence of whites and blacks is not always amiable and the lines between the two cultures are crossed at times usually with dire consequences.

The type of love in Wind from Danyari is not the usual romantic type but is earthly and pragmatic, almost animalistic at times and it always plays second fiddle to the work that must be done to survive in the unforgiving Australian outback. This is a wonderful story about the “civilizing” of a unique country.