Tag Archives: indigenous australian

Review: Sorry

SorrySorry by Gail Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: My local library – Get your own copy from The Book Depository

A whisper: sssshh. The thinnest vehicle of breath.
This is a story that can only be told in a whisper.
There is a hush to difficult forms of knowing, an abashment, a sorrow, an inclination towards silence.

A powerful story wove not about the violent crime that happened on one hot afternoon in a remote outback location but of the “crime” surrounding this violence. The “crime” that is hushed, that no one would speak out loud of, and, at the time this story was written, not apologised for.

There were 3 points of view to this tale which to me felt like I was looking from a distance, then was looking in closer, then in minutiae details. This is Perdita’s tale which began with the adult Perdita telling her story with some reflection on her childhood. The focus changes alternatively then between this to a third person view of Perdita’s childhood and the child Perdita’s perspective. This sounds quite complicated but truthfully, it flowed very well that I didn’t notice til after halfway.

Perdita, once a loquacious child, became a stutterer of a sudden. As an adult, Perdita explored this unfortunate event, the circumstances leading to it and afterwards. A child, she was then, and bereft of her words, unable to produce the words necessary to expound the truth. Will she discover this truth before it’s too late? If so, what will she do with it? Can she do anything with the truth in her hands?

A breathtaking & lyrical writing of Australia, its people, and their brokenness, ‘Sorry’ was the missing word needed / wanted at the time of this being written (am happy to be able to say this). Whilst the work is fiction, I have no doubt that something similar have taken place. Some atrocities were just beyond words and this literary work is for us to remember those broken and never to forget.

View all my reviews