PASTURES OF THE BLUE CRANE by H.F. Brinsmead

PASTURES OF THE BLUE CRANE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The book faces up to the problem of personal acceptance of an interracial community. The context is distinctively Australian; nevertheless the basics of the conflict are universal. In a way, it is unfortunate that the story is so pointed towards its issue; the way the characters sometimes frankly question, other times casually overlook, the blending of colors is handled with a particular adroitness which might have been more effective without that extra pressure. Sixteen year old Ryl had been abandoned (with a very handsome annuity) by her father when she was three; she had no knowledge of her mother or of any other relatives. Her life had been spent exclusively at the best boarding schools; the polish was burnished to the fullest sheen; she could outsnub anybody. The death of her father coincided with the end of her schooling; she and her long-lost grandfather decided to share one of the inheritances-- an antiquated farmhouse in a rural, coastal village. Out on the farm she learned to develop the proper feelings towards friends and relatives, and eventually made the discovery that her good friend Perry Davis-- a half-caste--was actually her brother. One might object that the author has been evasive by placing the bi-racial romance into the impersonal past (it looked at the outset as if Perry and Rly would turn out to be more than pals) but that is really a niggling fault. The ramifications of the problem are presented through the conversations of the teenagers (also Ryl's grandfather and his cronies) which are a convincing mixture of banter and conscientious probing. The well described scenery is an extra plus for this story which girls will enjoy reading and perhaps find thought-provoking. Better than most teenage friction fiction.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1966
Publisher: Coward-McCann