Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thursday's Child by Sonya Hartnett

genre: middle grade/ya

It takes Harper and her family a while to realize that Tin is not meant from this above-ground world. It's Harper that finally figures it out, since Tin's her younger brother and all, and since she's charged with watching him. Living during the Great Depression, their barren farm and shack of a house are little comfort to Harper as she and Tin grow older and further apart.

Thursday's Child is a growing up story. A Depression story. A broken-family story. A story of a boy who's happier underground and his sister who always seems left behind at home to deal with the struggles of her family. Harper is a brilliantly written character - the responsibilities and worries of an adult but with the frustrated understanding of a child. Hard, hard things happen to her and her reactions resonated with sincerity.

The author is Australian and in my mind I pictured this story taking place in the dry Australian outback, although no cities or countries are ever mentioned by name. Their poverty and Harper's parents' ways of coping create a life of serious hardship for Harper and yet there is a strange hope that she clings to, a strength that allows her to keep loving. While it wasn't so gripping that I couldn't put it down, it was an incredible story of family and the things we do to each other and for each other. I think I just believed it. I fell under the spell of the era and the people - and Tin is a fascinatingly bizarre character. It took me to another world for a time and I have a feeling these characters won't leave my mind any time soon.

book 7 of 8 for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds fantastic! I love books set during the Depression.

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