The White Girl

Thrilled to join the blog tour for this one today.

Australia’s leading indigenous storyteller makes his American debut with this immersive and deeply resonant novel, set in the 1960s, that explores the lengths we’ll go to save the people we love—an unforgettable story of one native Australian family and the racist government that threatens to separate them.

Odette Brown has lived her entire life on the fringes of Deane, a small Australian country town. Dark secrets simmer beneath the surface of Deane—secrets that could explain why Odette’s daughter, Lila, left her one-year-old daughter, Sissy, and never came back, or why Sissy has white skin when her family is Aboriginal. 

For thirteen years, Odette has quietly raised her granddaughter without drawing notice from welfare authorities who remove fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. But the arrival of a new policeman with cruel eyes and a rigid by-the-book attitude throws the Brown women’s lives off-kilter. It will take all of Odette’s courage and cunning to save Sissy from the authorities, and maybe even lead her to find her daughter. 

Bolstered by love, smarts, and the strength of their ancestors, Odette and Sissy are an indomitable force, handling threats to their family and their own identities with grace and ingenuity, while never losing hope for themselves and their future.

In The White Girl, Miles Franklin Award-nominated author Tony Birch illuminates Australia’s devastating post-colonial past—notably the government’s racist policy of separating Indigenous children from their families, known today as the Stolen Generations—and introduces a tight-knit group of charming, inspiring characters who remind us of our shared humanity, and that kindness, hope, and love have no limits.

My Bookish Thoughts

Oh my heart has broken at parts of this book. This is a MUST read that will take you on a rollercoaster that you will not forget in a hurry. As a reader, we see the separation of white people and aboriginal. A setting in which Deane’s line is still known of.

Parts of this will make your jaw drop, I’ve definitely had tears as I’ve read about children pulled from parents, taught about things they haven’t heard of and dying from diseases. It’s been a book that I’ve devoured wanting more and more.

The Stolen Generation is not something I have a knowledge of but this book has made me want to know more. Birch writes in a way that is addictive- even when not reading I have been completely unable to stop thinking of this book.

I have loved Odette. The struggles and journey through this book with her has made me completely engrossed wanting to know how her story ends.

This is a literary masterpiece and one that deserves so much recognition. I definitely recommend this gem. It’s a book not to be missed.

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