Loved this book. It is very well written by a great young Australian story teller who I hope will write more. I was not surprised to find it will be made into a movie at the end of the book. Leah Purcell captured the life of indigenous people at that time in Australia's history and its hard to imagine how difficult it was for them A well known storey portrayed in a different way. Well done Leah Purcell!! I have recommended this book to several friends who have also enjoyed the story.
I read this play purely by chance: I’d asked for a copy of Leah Purcell’s new novel of the same name and received a copy of her earlier play. Intrigued, I read it through, finished it, and then reread Henry Lawson’s short story.
Yes, Ms Purcell’s play departs from the original story. There are more active characters: the antagonist in the Henry Lawson version becomes the hero in this. There are other changes, too. In the play, Molly (the Drover’s Wife) is participating more in events, not passively waiting. And some of the reader’s assumptions about power and relative strength are challenged as well.
For myself, the play challenges the euro-centric view I have based on my reading of Henry Lawson’s short story. And that, surely, is a good thing.
I found the play easy to follow: actions as described and words working together to create powerful images. And now I wait, patiently, to read Ms Purcell’s novel.