Friday, July 16, 2010
The Night They Stormed Eureka
Title:The Night They Stormed Eureka
Aurthur: Jackie French
First Published:2009 by harpercollins
Sam has lots of family troubles and decides the only thing she can do is to run away. she ends up on the Ballarat gold fields in 1854, not long before the Eureka Stockade. she is picked up by a couple who run the 'best little cook shop on the diggins' and gets everything she's ever wanted, a family that loves her and friends who help her. life in the diggings is very different to life in the 21st century, to Sam seems so simple. the longer she spends there, she realises it is just a hard. she has to make some incredibly hard choices that could effect Australian history and culture from then on. she knows about the bloodshed and death, should she warn them that they will be attacked at dawn on Sunday so they save lives? would Australia be better off as a republic? with the help off her friend the professor she learns that all she can do is ask her self weather this bit is good or bad. Sam's trip back in time teaches her so much. it showed me how far we have come in 150 years, things people thought were impossible, like education for women, are now standard. my favourite lesson, and the most predominate, is that people can achieve things when they stand together that they could never get near alone.
i really enjoyed this book, but i found not a lot really happened. it was not boring in the least, but they're was really only one exciting or major event. this is mainly because even though their are no battles or fights Sam is the characters are constantly fighting themselves. Mrs Puddleham, Sam's adoptive mother, is battling with the memory of the baby she lost on the ship to Australia and her friend George is pushing the strains of being a half aboriginal who wants an education.
this is very easy to read and understand compared to other historical novels because Sam knows as little as we do. there are also appendices at the back including recipes from Mrs Puddleham and an explanation of things that you might not understand, including terms like "redcoats" and some extra information of the stockade which was useful and interesting.
i am very happy that this novel wasn't ruined with an "it was a dream" ending. towards the end i was worried that Jackie Frech would cop out have her wake up and say she was dreaming, but instead she gave us a propper believe ending, which left me wondering what happened to Sam but sure that she would get the help she needed and be happy.