I was brought to this classic story originally by watching the 1973 ABC series starring Leonard Teale and featuring Bruce Smeaton's gorgeous title tune. It is such a great classic that I can't give this book less than four stars, although I am sorely tempted due to the poor formatting and frequent typos. But looking past these gripes, underneath the slightly rough exterior lies the shimmering gold of Turner's narrative.
Set in Sydney in the late 1880's, the story is about the Woolcot family. Captain Woolcot is a stiff army man who has six children from his first marriage, and a seventh to his second wife Esther, who is only four years older than the Captain's eldest child Meg. The Captain does not really understand his children, and Esther struggles to bring them under control. As a result they get into many scrapes of varying degrees. (To be honest I sometimes think that second son Bunty is destined for life as a petty criminal, but that's just my idle speculation!)
Thirteen-year-old Judy is bright but headstrong. After a particularly disastrous episode (she and brother Pip go to town and park their baby brother in their father's room at the barracks so that they can go to the aquarium), the Captain decides to send her away to boarding school. There is quite a lot of fallout from this decision, and it all leads up to the climax of the story. Which, be warned, is a very emotional one for a children's book. Not quite the traditional happy ending that we all long for, but brilliantly done all the same.
- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 43 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Spoken Realms
- Audible.com.au Release Date: 4 June 2019
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B07SJJB2PD
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,595 in Audible (See Top 100 in Audible)