Looking at Australia in 2075, Rohan Wilson paints a picture in Daughter of Hard Times that portrays a future were all the very worst aspects of our society have flourished and rule the country. Big business’s with ideas only of profit are running many Government Departments, including prisons and Refugee Sanctuaries.
The story opens with some refugees from the Maldives who survived a tsunami which wiped out all of their families. To stay in Australia, they are housed and work on a conveyor belt assembling small toys. They have a quota which is strictly monitored, and they have to pay for their accommodation, water, food and all the things that they consume. Yamaan, one of the refugees, has a bill of over $40,000 dollars. To repay this he will have to spend many years working at the camp.
The owner of the huge Corporation which is in charge of prisons and refugee camps is a multi-millionaire. She constantly works to cut costs in the prisons and refugee camps, implementing many money saving strategies. Her daughter Rin has fallen in love with Yamaan but thought he had died in the tsunami. Now Rin discovers that he is alive and is one of the poor souls who works and sleeps in the Refugee Camp. Although Rin’s mother disapproves of the relationship, the girl secretly visits Yamaan at the Camp and tries to set him free.
This is a bleak, though not altogether unrealistic view of how our society could evolve if profit and wealth become our sole aims. The story is a look at the darker side of our nature. It focusses on power, and the absence of any compassion once the notion of profit is deemed to be all important. People vaguely remember words like teamwork, trust, kindness and compassion. These virtues are no longer valued by many and despair seems to have filled the void left.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|