Published by FREMANTLE PRESS on August 1st 2015
Source: Inky Awards
A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships.
Poignantly told from the child’s perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.
- IT’S WRITTEN IN VERSE. It’s so beautifully put together and a story told through verse. I couldn’t stop reading it. How could I? It demanded you pay attention, that you read all the way through in one sitting.
- THE WRITING WAS INCREDIBLE. The descriptions of certain smells, scents and imagery brought me back home. I loved how Sally described fire and the smell of it outside, the imagery of family and children all together, the description of singing and how it touches ones soul, how precious ones language name is and so much more. Sally really changed the way I read. She’s really raised the bar on what I consume as a reader and what I write as a writer.
- SISTER HEART TELLS A SMALL PART OF OUR HISTORY. Sister Heart tells a story of a child named Annie being taken away from her family, from her country, from her home and being put into a mission with other children. This happened in Australia. Children who were considered ‘half-caste’ or had lighter skin were taken away from their homes and put into missions where they were mistreated, abused and violated. These children are still alive today, as the stealing of children stopped in 1970. Sister Heart gives readers a glimpse into this history through the eyes of the protagonist, Annie.
- ANNIE, JANEY AND TIM ARE SO PRECIOUS. These characters are just so precious. You’ll want to protect these children with everything and anything. Annie is the rebellion, not wanting anyone else taking away pieces of her identity. Janey is the one who tries to make everyone happy and does so hilariously. Lastly, Tim is the youngest of the group and was taken away as a baby. He didn’t learn about where home was until he met Janey. Janey loved Tim very much, their bond was indescribable and only something siblings would understand.
- IT WAS HOME IN A BOOK. The way the children interacted with each other and talked made me feel like I was back home, in a place where I understood everyone and everything.
- A EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER. The writing, as mentioned before, is incredible. The characters are amazing and so is the dialogue. Another aspect to the book that really captivates me is the story itself. We experience heart ache, rebellion, the want and need for survival, family love and bonds, the need of protecting these bonds, the connection to home and country, the strength of our songs, our voice, our stories, the innocence of childhood and so much more. Sally enchants you with words, having you wanting more.
- THERE ARE SO MANY PHRASES THAT STICK WITH YOU! Here are a couple of my favourites. (They are presented without any context)