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The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls - Victoria Purman

The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls

Paperback Published: 23rd April 2018
ISBN: 9781489246752
Number Of Pages: 432

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For readers of The Woolgrower's Companion and The Three Miss Allens... Their friendship transcends nationality and background, but can it overcome the horrors of the past? A post-Second World War story of strong female ties and family, secrets and lies, set in the multicultural Australia of the fifties.

Can the Bonegilla girls defeat their past? Or will it come to claim them?

1954: When sixteen-year-old Hungarian Elizabeta arrives in Australia with her family, she is hoping to escape the hopelessness of life as a refugee in post-war Germany.

Her first stop is the Bonegilla Migrant Camp on the banks of the Murray in rural Victoria, a temporary home for thousands of new arrivals, all looking for work and a better life. There,
Elizabeta becomes firm friends with the feisty Greek Vasiliki; quiet Italian Iliana; and the adventurous Frances, the daughter of the camp's director.

In this vibrant and growing country, the Bonegilla girls rush together towards a life that seems full of promise, even as they cope with the legacy of war, the oppressive nature of family tradition and ever-present sorrow. So when a ghost from the past reaches out for Elizabeta and threatens to pull her back into the shadows, there is nothing that her friends wouldn't do to keep her safe.

But secrets have a way of making themselves known and lies have a way of changing everything they touch...

A good authentic read


It was an easy read. Sad in places but one could relate to the story.



Migrants in the 50's


Really enjoyed the book. As a migrant coming from war torn in the fifties I could relate to the characters as I had similar experiences.



Interesting to read about migrant camps in the 1950s


Interesting to follow the lives of 4 women from such different backgrounds.



An insightful look at our migrant history


The Last of the Bonegilla Girls is another new direction for Purman and it's one she navigated with finesse and style, it is a work of fiction inspired by her own family heritage and knowing that going in kept me thinking throughout. I want to call this an historical fiction but I don't think it is quite long ago enough to fit that category. It is certainly an insightful and interesting look at a different era in Australian history, and one that is fascinating. I have read and loved Purman's work since her debut and I think I have read everything she's released (except one of the novellas which I am still getting to, I think I did buy it in the end but I just haven't got there yet). The Last of the Bonegilla Girls is no exception though it did strike me that the setting was very different to the rest of her print novels in that it isn't set on the South Australian coastline, instead it is set in the Bonegilla migrant camp in rural Victoria. I think The Last of the Bonegilla Girls is quite a timely release because there are many people coming to Australia for a fresh start and they aren't always being welcomed. The Last of the Bonegilla Girls reminds us that this isn't the first time Australia has welcomed other cultures to build a new life here, and that a large percentage of Australians have migrant histories. It is also a study in taking the correct channels to start a new life here. The Last of the Bonegilla Girls brings together four girls from very different backgrounds into a friendship that will last a lifetime. It spans decades, generations and a wealth of emotions. Purman has created complex and courageous characters that you can't help but empathise with. The story focuses on the teenaged daughters embarking on new lives but it also explores their parents and siblings.



The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls

4.8 4


ISBN: 9781489246752
ISBN-10: 1489246754
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 23rd April 2018
Publisher: Harlequin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.54

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