Thursday's Child Paperback – 1 Sep 2003
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|Paperback, 1 Sep 2003||
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"Sonya Hartnett, the Australian author of slick, chilly psychological thrillers for teenagers, is at last being published in the UK." --The Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A beautiful and complex coming-of-age story." (Booklist)
"Dark, unusual, familiar and slightly miraculous." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A unique and fascinating experience." (School Library Journal) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The young narrator watches her impoverished family continue to life in isolation while their neighbours move on. Her strange brother, Tin, burrows tunnels for himself underneath the house, to catastrophic effect. But his path echoes their father's self-imposed refuge; a retreat he beat away from his own Pa's bullying demands.
As the family's troubles worsen, Tin, attempts to leave them behind, literally carving out a new place in his interior world. Far from merely 'digging himself a hole', Tin's route is deliberate, becoming the dynamo at its centre. As a reader we're urged on; we need to know what will become of the Flute family. Despite the arid landscape that serves as its backdrop the prose is lyical and its climax expertly built.
Hartnett says there are those that accuse her work of being too old in its approach or bleak to qualify as children's literature. In her defense she says: "I do not really write for children: I write only for me, and for the few people I hope to please, and I write for the story".
And write the story she does, magnificently.
The characters seem real - they are very well crafted - and the plot is involving, too. It reads as an older style book: John Steinbeck, someone compared it to. I don't normally like that sort of thing - I get impatient or feel I can't really relate to it enough - but this was an unexpected jewel. And the ending was unexpected, though completely believable, and hopeful.
Give yourself a good couple of chapters to get into the style and pace of it, and then you will be gripped.
The twist is the brother, Tin, of the narrator who has a talent for digging. This book is strange, harsh, bleak and wonderfully descriptive. I would recommend this book for adult as much as children - I have already put my nephews onto it - it is a beautifully written depiction of family life, realistically posed, accepting of family faults etc and wonderfully observed. The twist becomes just part of the story - it's only when you come to explain it to others and see their frowns do you think that Tin and his digging is odd - that's the magic of the book.
Melanie Waterfield, Kent, England
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recently re-read this book, having first read it when I was 11. Some of the themes are probably too dark for an 11 year old, although the book is written in such a way that... Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2013 by hannah-kiwii
This is my first taste of Sonya Hartnett's writing and her 11th novel (published in 2000) - no mean feat for a then 32 year old. Read morePublished on 28 Jun. 2010 by Lovely Treez
Winner of a Guardian Children's Book Award, I picked this up on a bargain book stand. The story is about a family in Australia (it is never stated as Australia I think, but... Read morePublished on 14 April 2010 by Sir Furboy