I borrowed the audio book of The Blue Mile from my local library. I was looking for material to give me a ‘feel’ for Sydney during the Great Depression as research for my current book. Although it is a fictional story line the backdrop of hardship, politics of the day and the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are based on facts.
The reason I chose the audio book was to make use of my time driving to and from work – trying to cram in as much research as possible.
I was already fairly familiar with the history of the time but still learnt a great deal more. As an insight into the era and the building of a major landmark, it is accurate and absorbing. The Sydney Harbour is itself a link between the two characters. It provides work for Eoghan when finding a job was difficult and inspiration for Olivia’s fashion designs.
The blue mile refers to the stretch of water in Sydney Harbour between the suburbs where the two characters, Eoghan O Keenan and Olivia Greene, live. A world apart in relation to background, financial security and class.
As a love story, it is enchanting. The characters are believable and, although they come from different class backgrounds, are well matched. Little Agnes is a delightful child who has a very grown up attitude to life.
The audio book is narrated by Zoe Ellerton-Ashley and James Harvy. Both of these Australian actors brought their characters to life as well as that of Agnes. James’ Irish accent was delightful to listen to.
I loved the story and its audio presentation and often wished my trip to work was longer so I could keep listening.
I am not a reader of love stories but Miss Kelly has delivered a well-researched historical fiction/love story with characters I enjoyed immensely. It had me totally engrossed. I intend to follow up with reading more of her books.