I read it all. I had high expectations, I wanted it to be a great novel, one of the best I’ve ever read but I was a bit disappointed.
The plot is pretty simple and not engaging. I appreciated the historical facts, such as the fact that Nino arrives in Australia with a ship and starts working the following day; my first reaction was “how come he doesn’t suffer of jet-lag?” “how can he find a job sooooooo soon?” it was another era of course!
I found the dialogues interesting from a linguistic point of view but difficult to follow (Orright. Ter-day’s Friday. We’ll pour on Wensdy), the story didn’t flow so easily for me.
I think men are more likely to enjoy it as it’s written from a man’s point of view and there is no romance in it (which makes novels more interesting for me).
I once heard a Sydney Australian describe the citizens of Melbourne as being “a weird mob”. […]It seems to mean that it’s difficult for a citizen of Sydney to understand the citizens of Melbourne, who appear to be interested in such extraordinary things as Australian Rules football, calm water for swimming, and six o’clock closing. Yet they brew magnificent beer, and like to eat Sydney oysters. [..] Certainly from the point of view of a European migrant, the citizens of Sydney are a weird mob.
The author not only underlines the importance of integration for a New Australian by learning the new language but also he encourages forgetting the migrant’s language and customs.
Cut it out. There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian.
I believe this is not true anymore but I do now realize why I’ve met so many Italians of second or third generation who can’t speak Italian because their parents didn’t teach them, they thought it was wrong and they could get bullied and isolated at school. If they wanted to integrate, they had to forget Italian and speak only Australian. Now this same generation wants their children to rediscover their origins and learn Italian.
I believe we are all citizens of the world. It’s our duty towards our children to teach them our language and culture together with the culture and language of the Country we live in. This enriches our lives, our points of view and makes us happier citizens. This is what I believe and I’m not the only parent raising their children bilingual or trilingual, exposed to more than a culture.