The Wayward Child

by Rita Lowther

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It's not often that you get the unsullied memories of a child growing up in the Australian countryside during the years of the Second World War published raw and unvarnished over sixty years later. A Wayward Child begins with Rita's country girlhood in Tumut where her father worked as a guard at the open prison farm. It describes the traumatic effects of the Second World War years on her mind and on her family, and the harsh values that informed a generation that was emotionally and intellectually starved. Rita survived with those values. This is a testimony of how difficult it is for precocious children to try to grasp problems that adults have difficulty in grasping themselves a situation not uncommon in the isolated communities of the Australian country. She has a writer's eye for detail. Some of her descriptions are almost Dickensian. A writerly touch is apparent in the last sentence of a paragraph devoted to a magnificently detailed description of her gra  ndfather and his clothing: I think

Synopsis : An era of Australian history that has been sadly neglected in the literary world. This story is about a country born child who lived through the rough and tumble of the WW11 years with all it's hardships. Only the older generation would know this history, and I feel this story should be known to young and old alike. It is laced with sadness, hilarity, tragedy, sex and more.

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