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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The longest walk
It's an insult to Doris Pilkington and to the children's endeavour alike to race through this book. Still, circumstances dictated [the film was waiting] and the deed was done. Which merely led to a re-read. This real-life story of three young girls escaping from the looming slavery of a Christian mission to return home is another entry on the balance sheet of imperialism...
Published on 22 Mar 2004 by Stephen A. Haines

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy the DVD and watch it
Seen the film, absolutely GREAT!

It took me less time to read the book, than the film is to watch.

OK if you're learning English, as it's got questions about the English language at the end of the book.

Overpriced for the substance of the story.

Best to buy the DVD and watch it
Published 1 month ago by Don Dyer


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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The longest walk, 22 Mar 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
It's an insult to Doris Pilkington and to the children's endeavour alike to race through this book. Still, circumstances dictated [the film was waiting] and the deed was done. Which merely led to a re-read. This real-life story of three young girls escaping from the looming slavery of a Christian mission to return home is another entry on the balance sheet of imperialism. With immense forces arrayed against them, the three evaded all pursuit, even expert Aborigine trackers, to cross half a continent to rejoin their families. The distance covered was likely the longest walk in Australian history.
The roots of this story lie in the opening chapters which recount the actions of European visitors and settlers against the indigenous Australian population. Women were raped, murdered or abandoned. Men were killed, imprisoned, led into slavery as they watched their traditional lands overrun by cattle, sheep or grain. The ease with which firearms overcame spears added to the European's attitude of "superiority". By the time of Molly Craig's capture, killing had been mostly abandoned in favour of "assimilation" - a mild word for indentured servitude. Molly, recognised the fallacy of being forced into an unwanted life. She took steps to avoid this fate - many steps, as it turned out. Enough to hide from pursuers, do some elusive backtracking and arrive at home. At least 1800 km of mostly barefoot walking.
There were adventures enough along the way, and some ironies. Although alerted to their escape, the wives of white selectors fed, clothed and sheltered them briefly. Then dobbed them in to the police after the trio had again gone bush. The girls lived on donated food, captured rabbits, birds' eggs or whatever else the bush provided. Each contributed as best they could. It was enough. Seven weeks after their escape, two of the three were reunited with family. Yet, nine years later, Molly Craig, this time carrying her infant daughter, had to repeat her incredible performance.
This is an Aborigine tale told in an Aborigine manner. It doesn't examine the lives and motivations of such people as A. O. Neville or Const. Rigg. It doesn't delve into the psychological foundations of Molly or Gracie or even Mrs Flanagan. The book presents the tale as it occurred without ostentation or enhancement. There are numerous works on the conquest of Australia and its "White Only" policy and its implications. This story, stark and simple, stands on its own merits. Don't read it too quickly. There is too much to learn. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit-Proof Fence, 29 July 2008
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
'Rabbit-Proof Fence' is the short, but completely captivating story of three girls escape from a half-caste aboriginal centre and their epic, long walk home back to their families. This book is simply written, but extremely evocative and can easily be read in a couple of hours. But, for those hours, you will live and breathe the lives of these tenacious and brave girls completely. Written by the daughter of one of the girls (Molly) and pieced together from recollections and telegram records, this book charts what the human spirit is capable of and what bravery was shown by the girls to get back to their homes. A simple story, beautifully told and one to leave you awe inspired and full of respect. A solid four stars.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RUN, GIRLS, RUN..., 10 Aug 2009
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
I first saw the Miramax movie starring Kenneth Branagh, which was based upon this book. I was intrigued enough by the film to read this book. I was not disappointed. This book is certainly a testament to the human spirit. It also reveals the harsh, paternalistic and racist policies that the Australian government imposed upon its Aboriginal population.

In 1931, the Australian government issued an edict that mandated that all Aboriginal and part Aboriginal children were to be forcibly removed from their homes and taken to special settlements where they were to be assimilated. There, while living in inhumane and degrading conditions, they would be taught to be culturally white, would be mandated to speak English only, and would be trained to be domestic help or laborers in white households.

The author tells the reader the story of three young girls, Mollie, Gracie, and Daisy, who had Aboriginal mothers and White fathers. Ranging in age from nine to fifteen years old, the three girls were forcibly removed from their loving families and taken to a special settlement. The girls rebelled against this system, and, homesick, escaped from such a settlement. They left with iterally just the clothes on their back. Their only guide home would be a rabbit-proof fence that stretched for over a thousand miles across Australia.

The girls Aboriginal heritage and survival skills would come in handy throughout their nearly nine week long trek across Australia, as they were forced to subsist on the land and the occasional kindness from strangers. They had to endure thirst, hunger, and danger, while avoiding being caught along the way by professional trackers, police on the lookout for them, and white settlers that were unsympathetic to their situation.

This story is a most personal one for the author, as one of the girls, Molly, is the author's mother. Told in a straightforward, factual manner, it is an incredible story that is an indictment of the Australian government's racist policies against its Aboriginal people and its imperialistic self-proclaimed superiority over them.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compelling true story, 21 Jun 2003
By 
C L Lodge (Hereford, Herefordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
a compelling and emotional book this will make you appreciate the vast distances these girls travelled to return to their homeland and the way they were treated to make them decide to walk the long way home.Racism and aboriginal rights do not even come into this,just pure determination to return to their family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit-proof Fence, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
I have read this story twice. It is a fascinating story and quite an acheived on the distance they cover in hostle conditions. And leaves you shaking your head at some of the dump decisions goverments can come up with. I highly recommend this book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit-proof Fence, 18 July 2010
This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
A moving story that gives the reader an insight of the social thinking of the time and the effect this had on people, especially the Aborigine population. It has to be read to appreciate the enormity of the journey undertaken by the children out of dire necessity to return to their family and roots. It will make the reader think and question but the outcome is uplifting. There is a DVD that can be purchased. I have not viewed this, but intend to buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading, 22 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence (Paperback)
Bearing in mind this was written by the daughter, it was both interesting and informative of what happened to half cast children of white/aboriginal parents from the early to mid 19th Century. An interesting read, but I had seen the film first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional story about Australian history, 12 Aug 2013
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Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence is an emotional story about three half-caste aboriginal girls taken away from their families in early ages. The book itself seems very realistic because Doris Pilkington writes about her own mother and her journey back to her family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-writing history, 8 April 2011
This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
This text is a powerful narrative describing some of the consequences of the violence of colonialism and the dispossession of indigenous Australians. It describes an injustice that will not be described in traditional history text books but is something everyone should know about and learn from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great escape, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: Rabbit-proof Fence (Paperback)
This was a wonderful book. As a regular visitor to Australia I didn't realise how "put down and robbed" the Aborigines were by our government in the early 1900's. I now see them in a totally new light thanks to this book. These three young girls were extremely brave, and probably very desperate, in tackling the harsh Outback conditions. The parents of the half caste children must have been terrified of losing them, no wonder a lot went "bush." This book portrays the white man in a bad light. Who did we think we were marching into someone elses country and telling them how they should and should not behave? This book is a real eyeopener and is well worth the read. It only has 133 pages but Doris Pilkington has put a lot into those 13 pages
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Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Garimara Pilkington (Paperback - 19 Sep 2002)
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