Currawalli Street 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 26, 2014

 

Author  Christopher Morgan

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1-74237-710-0
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.allenandunwin.com 

Incredibly powerful and almost understated Morgan has constructed his words in the manner of a true storyteller to bring to life the people that make up Currawalli Street, with all the fine detail and intimacy which goes to make up community.

Commencing in the time before the First World War, when life was still simple and people came to know each other through being neighbourly, Currawalli Street portrays a time which has long past but also moves into the era of the Vietnam war managing to retain that very special bond of looking out for your neighbours, formed by families over generations.

Each family, which comes together to make up the neighbourhood, is portrayed in such a way they immediately come to life off the pages forming as real people coping with loneliness, personal challenge, secrets, changing times, the threat of war and more.

Johnny, with his new wife move into their new house in Currawalli Street, the young Rector and his sister are recently arrived to the Church down the road, Rose and her husband have lived there since the first houses were built some time before, Morrie the once big name Lawyer, widowed early, also makes up the fabric of the “street” along with Nancy whose husband is a sailor recently retired.

As the war in Europe escalates the men of Currawalli Street prepare to go to war leaving behind all they hold dear, pegging their beer mugs on the wall in the Pub until they return.

Move forward two generations to the homecoming of Jim from the Vietnam War, to the house his grandfather Johnny built. Struggling to cope with the untimely death of his parents he finds solace and strength from the neighbours as he rebuilds his life in a changed world.

Helping Patrick relive his time as stationmaster, clearing out the ghosts of time past, retracing the steps to the Pub many before him have followed, eating Coronation cake baked from a recipe sent from England in 1914 but still being made by his long time neighbour, and so many more timeless traditions of the neighbourhood all help Jim return to civilian life while learning about the bonds formed over generations on Currawalli Street.

Dancing through time effortlessly this is a powerful, beautiful story about people, life and love.