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6 Reviews
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3 star:
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, poignant and excitingly twisted.
This was my first lesley Glaister novel and I was unprepared for the marvellous, easy style of her honeyed prose. Evocations of England in the late 1950's combined with a disparate cast of characters make this a charming book of humour, poignancy and bleak reality. I am now preparing to read everything else she has ever written!
Published on 20 Nov 1999

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bitter-sweet narrative in believable female first person.
An authentic adolescent voice and emotions in an unusual domestic situation. This is the first work I have read by Glaister and I will read another of her imaginative novels.
Published on 7 July 1999


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, poignant and excitingly twisted., 20 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Digging to Australia (Paperback)
This was my first lesley Glaister novel and I was unprepared for the marvellous, easy style of her honeyed prose. Evocations of England in the late 1950's combined with a disparate cast of characters make this a charming book of humour, poignancy and bleak reality. I am now preparing to read everything else she has ever written!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Off-beat but excellent read, 12 Dec 2003
This review is from: Digging to Australia (Hardcover)
In 'Digging to Australia' a traumatic year in the life of 13 year old Jennifer unfolds through her own eyes. She grapples with the ususal teenage stuff of awakening independence, sexuality and dread of unpopularity. In her case these are compounded by the shock of discovering the truth about her unconventional family and beng drawn towards a strange loner.
The unprepossessing setting for this is the suburbs of the late 1960's. Although this world of Jennifer's is circumscribed, it is vividly real. We are drawn into its curious events and Jennifer's intense emotional life. Glaister captures with real accuracy the teenager's perspective -the disturbing sense of having new and sometimes far from innocent feelings and that of the things now happening seeming overwhelmingly important.
'Digging to Australia' is subtle. The ambiguities in its ending -with questions surrounding a disturbing final plot twist left unanswered -suggests a possibility that the events of adolescence, so cataclysmic at the time, may turn out to be less so in retrospect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather wonderful and a little weird, 28 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Digging to Australia (Paperback)
I've read a couple of Lesley Glaister's books before this, and I've enjoyed them all. The author seems to excel in describing the strangeness and cruelty of getting old; however, this only serves to make her novels seem all the more chilling. In no way can this be described as a horror story, but whilst reading it, you become filled with a kind of absurd dread, not quite knowing where the story is leading to. As in her other novels, this one is an angle on the truth, whether you want to admit to it or not!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bitter-sweet narrative in believable female first person., 7 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Digging to Australia (Paperback)
An authentic adolescent voice and emotions in an unusual domestic situation. This is the first work I have read by Glaister and I will read another of her imaginative novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Digging to Australia, 25 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Digging to Australia (Paperback)
Excellent novel exploring family relationships with solid and interesting characters. This book is a page turner,difficult to put down until finished!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Curiously unfinished, 20 Jan 2013
By 
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Digging to Australia (Paperback)
Jennifer is seeking a way out of her restricted life, hence the example of digging a hole to Australia as a child. She is also trying to find out more about her background and family although each revelation turns her understanding of her world on its head. This is a coming of age book showing us the aspects of Jennifer's life during a year long period and is set in the 1970s.

The depiction of a young woman, unsure of her origins and looking for more from her life, is very well done. We understand why Jennifer challenges her guardians when she discovers that they lie to her and also why she befriends the enigmatic Johnny who is not only mysterious but patently unsuitable. Because we are adults seeing through the eyes of a child we see significantly more than Jennifer and see the danger she is in long before she does.

The problem with this book, for me, is that a lot of it is unfinished. I accept that this is a matter of style and also a reflection that the teenaged Jennifer would not necessarily have known what had happened but it made this book an unsatisfying read for me. I wanted to have a better idea what happened to Bronwyn and to know what exactly Johnny was doing in the disused church. I also would have appreciated a better resolution to the situation with her birth mother.

I suspect that others may enjoy this book more than I did because I would have liked some of the themes explored in the story to come to an end rather than be left hanging and to be finished only in my imagination.
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Digging to Australia
Digging to Australia by Lesley Glaister
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