A heart-warming novel in the tradition of CLOUDSTREET and THE HARP IN THE SOUTH
Empire Day, 1948. A back street in Bondi is transformed as the fireworks of Cracker Night cast a magical glow over its humble cottages. But Australia as a whole is being transformed in this postwar era and the people of Wattle Street know that life will never be the same again. The ′reffos′ have moved in, and their strange ways are threatening the comfortable world of salt-of-the-earth locals like Pop Wilson, deserted mum Kath and sharp-tongued Maude McNulty.
With suspicious and disapproving eyes, the Australians observe their new neighbours -- mysterious Mr Emil, fragile young Lilija and all the other Europeans starting their lives afresh. Mistrust and misunderstandings abound on both sides. To Hania, an angry teenager struggling to cope with her hysterical mother, and to Sala, an unhappily married woman trying to blot out her traumatic wartime past, the Australians appear enviably carefree.
But behind closed doors, Old as well as New Australians suffer secret heartaches. As the smoke of fires past and present gradually disperses and the lives of the two groups entwine, unexpected relationships form that bring passion and tragedy for some, and forgiveness and resolution for others.
EMPIRE DAY is a dramatic and heart-warming novel in the tradition of CLOUDSTREET and THE HARP IN THE SOUTH. It confirms Diane Armstrong as one of our most gifted and compelling storytellers.
About the Author
Diane Armstrong was born in Poland and arrived in Australia with her parents on the SS Derna in 1948.
She received a Commonwealth scholarship to the University of Sydney where she gained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English and History.
Having decided to become a writer at the age of seven, Diane became a freelance journalist. She has won national and international awards for her articles, including the Pluma de Plata from the Mexican government and the George Munster Award for Independent Journalism in Australia. Over 3000 of her articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Australia as well as in England, Hong Kong, Holland, Hungary, Poland, India and South Africa.
In 1997 she received an Emerging Writer′s grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council to write her first book Mosaic: A Chronicle of Five Generations, which was published in Australia in 1998. It was acclaimed by the late Joseph Heller and Nobel prizewinner Elie Wiesel, shortlisted for the Victorian Premier′s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and for the National Biography award. In 2001, Mosaic was published in the United States.
In 1999 Diane received a Developing Writer′s grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council to assist in writing The Voyage of Their Life.
Diane lives in Sydney with her husband, Michael. She has two children, Justine and Jonathan.
For Ages: 14 - 15 years old
For Grades: 10 - 12
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 1st September 2011
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.3 x 3.8
Weight (kg): 0.578