Top positive review
A fabulous story about enduring friendship
29 April 2018
This is a story about the bonds of friendship that often grow between people from different walks in life despite their differences. In The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls author Victoria Purman has written a story that beautifully intertwines Australia’s migrant history with an examination of what draws women together over time and how friendship can flow despite the barriers of distance and language.
While this story is most definitely a work of fiction, it nonetheless inspires readers to examine their own views on the world, the prejudices that we build up because of our own circumstances be they cultural, religious, racial or otherwise, or because of our misconceptions about other people’s actions. In the friendship that grows between Frances, Elizabeta, Vasiliki and Iliana we see people learning to accept each other in spite of their differences, support each other when support is needed and accept each other in spite of mistakes made.
The story is well researched, demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the migrant history of Australia and of the history of the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre near Albury. It gives readers a glimpse into life in Australia in the 1950’s and some insight into the sorts of reasons migrants have for coming to Australia to make a new life.
I found myself as absorbed in the story of the four girls, which spans half a century, as I was in the walk down memory lane to my childhood. I found this a gentle and thoughtful book and a story that made me question my own values and I loved it. Victoria Purman is to be congratulated for this one!