THE SHIRALEE by D'Arcy Niland

THE SHIRALEE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An almost impenetrable forest of down under lingo is a definite obstacle for the story swagman Macauley, Who, when he decided to ""put Australia at his feet"", never knew he would have a two legged shiralee (belongings to be carried on the back) as an obstacle in his travels over the country. Finding her mother unfaithful, Macauley takes his daughter, three and a half year old Buster, with him and, in spite of her nuisance value, finds, when the point is raised, that he cannot do without her. For Buster is little help in getting a Job; she is however something of value when he meets up with old cobbers; she is a headache -- and a heartache -- when she is sick; and when old friends want to keep her -- Buster will not be left behind. A steadier sort of Job gives Buster's mother a chance to kidnap the little girl; Macautey catches up and gets Buster back; the mother sues for the child just when Buster is fighting for her life in a hospital after an automobile has run her down -- and Macauley, wanting to be with Buster, goes to fight it out, learns the vengeful trickery behind the suit, has his last fight- and gets back to Buster to wait out the crisis. A man who cannot live in a box, who finally finds the deep twisted good, and his sturdy young daughter are an unusual team -- unsentimental and enduring -- whose appeal to the United States may be limited by unfamiliar language. Even the glossary does not include all terms.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1955
ISBN: 0899669417
Publisher: Morrow-Sloane