31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Ashendon book group say,
This review is from: Mister Pip (Paperback)Bougainville is a real place - it is a small island located between Papua New Guinea and The Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The islands were German territory, handed to Australia who handed them to Papua New Guinea. Then copper was discovered and Australian mining companies moved in causing awful pollution. The islanders wanted their island and civil war ensued. Papua New Guinea was told to deal with it, by the Australians, and so blockaded Bougainville. The islanders who had enjoyed modern lifestyles and comforts were, in their isolation, sunk further and further into self-sufficiency and basic living standards. At the hands of the `Redskin' Papua New Guinea forces they also suffered unspeakable and inhumane acts of cruelty and violence.
Some of us wished we had known that before we read the book.
The book had mixed feedback from the group. No one really raved about it but some felt it was a `reading experience' and an amazing idea. One thing we all agreed is that the book only really gets going in the last 40 pages and what happens was totally unexpected.
Like `A Thousand Splendid Suns' we felt the author dealt with the subject matter in a very matter of fact style - much of what occurred was simply stated and had no need for more description.
Much of our conversation, surrounding the book, dug deep into the psyche of Mr Watts (Pop Eye) and his motivations.
We loved Matilda, particularly her character, her morals and her loyalties. We felt her Mum was well meaning, though narrow in her views. Her strength of faith and `preaching' becomes credible as the book moves on, as does her efforts to protect her daughter.
Would we recommend it? Mainly no, though some of us definitely will recommend this book to carefully selected others.