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The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls

The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls is a touching and compelling story of female friendship and celebration of what it means to call Australia home, no matter where the journey began.

The story begins in 1954 in the Bonegilla Reception and Training Centre in Victoria on the banks of the Murray River and follows the lives of four girls, even after Bonegilla. The first to be introduced is sixteen-year-old Hungarian Elizabeta Schmidt who arrives at Bonegilla with her family, hoping to escape life as a refugee in post-war Germany. Then Iliana from Italy and Vasiliki from Greece who are also escaping from the effects of the war. And finally Frances Burley, daughter of the Camp Director who dreams of becoming a teacher after helping her new friends learn to speak the language of their new home. The story follows the ups and downs of the girls’ lives and their families, detailing their experiences before Bonegilla and their years after.

The book is an easy read with a style of writing that compels you to continue reading. The book swaps points of view throughout as each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective, giving the reader an interesting change in the reading experience. The immigration experiences of the characters detailed in the book are well researched and feel authentic as you read the story. Throughout there are moments of happiness, sadness, mystery and frustration as you read and become acquainted with each of the characters.

The book is a rollercoaster of emotion as you follow the individual experiences of the girls. With every chapter you become more and more invested in the characters. The experiences of new Australians and their journey to becoming Australians is beautifully told within this book.  With an ending that will leave you dewy eyed and a renewed sense of hope.

AuthorVictoria Purman
PublisherHarper Collins Publishing
DistributorHQ Fiction - AU
ReleasedMay 2018