FREE READER Ô DOC The White Earth ✓ 9781569474419

TEXT The White Earth

FREE READER Ô DOC The White Earth ✓ 9781569474419 Ú ❰Read❯ ➲ The White Earth Author Andrew McGahan – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk After his father’s death young William is cast upon the charity of an unknown great uncle John McIvor The old man was brought up expecting to marry the heiress tOinted by his rejection and the selling off of the land He has devoted his life to putting the estate back together and The White eBook #188 has moved into the once elegant mansion   McIvor tries to imbue William with his obsession but The winner of the 2005 Australian literary prize the Miles Franklin Literary Award this is a stunning novel set in the Darling Downs a diverse farming region west of Brisbane Prior to European settlement because of its lush indigenous grassesthe region was important as a food source and culturally to the local Aborigine tribes The arrival of the European farmers in the 1820s and 1830s put a stop to that and the Downs uickly became the food basket for the region Farming communities and towns uickly developed as did large stations and homesteads which dominated their local communities The indigenous people as happened many places elsewhere were displaced and effectively disappeared With this background in mind the story begins in 1992 with 9 year old William's father having an unfortunate accident on the farm resulting in his death Forced to leave the farm William and his depressed mother are taken in by an unknown great uncle John McIvor who owns what is left of one of the big stations Kuran station established by the White family He lives in the huge original and now very derelict homestead The motives for this altruistic act become fairly clear as John attempts to mould some would say brainwash young William into his heir It also becomes fairly clear that John is uite mad with an unwavering obsession to keep the property in family ownership This of course makes for uite a dangerous situation for a 9 year old boy to be in No father and a non functioning mother means he finds himself slowly being drawn into the spell his great uncle is weavingAt the same time law changes are taking place that will give local Aborigines greater claim to lands that were traditionally used before European settlement John knows secrets about the land the station is on that pertain to this and he is determined that no one else will find out about them thus safeguarding the property for his own interestsSinister yes and spooky yes underlying tension and danger oozing throughout the narrative with young William being manipulated beyond his childish understanding And yet the uncle never comes across as evil His whole life has revolved around Kuran station he loves the land with a deep passion and enormous respect and although he doesn't have the financial resources to make it productive again as it once was he does not want to see it destroyed The gift of the clever writer is that you actually do feel sorry for the old man as he tries to protect all that is important to himAny 9 year old child left to their own devices will project their own imagination and childish perceptions of the world onto what is going on around them As William comes and under the spell of his great uncle's dream he almost begins to operate in a parallel universe so that as the reader at times you don't uite know yourself what is real and what is notThe story is cleverly told with chapters alternating between John's story which essentially tells the history of Europeans in the area since the 1820s and how he came to be at Kuran; and William's story There is always a sense of impending doom with the two symbols of 'white' and 'fire' constantly threading themselves through the story The third character in the story is the land itself What a love for the land this author has the vast pastures the hills the water holes the dryness the dust the rain when it occurs I read an interview with the author which I now cannot find He grew up on the Downs so has this deep seated love and respect for the land plus a number of things that happened in the book also happened to himMy only c

TEXT Ô The White Earth Ô Andrew McGahan

After his father’s death young William is cast upon the charity of an unknown great uncle John McIvor The old man was brought up expecting to marry the heiress to Kuran Station a grand estate in the Australian Outback only to be disapp 45 ★sThe publicity blurb for this intriguing book touts it as Part family saga part history and part gothic thriller This is a pretty accurate description of a grim but compelling storyThe title does not reflect any reality but rather is a reference to the White family who once owned a large pastoral station Kuran on the northern fringes of the Darling Downs west of Brisbane With that dynasty long gone the property is now in the hands of John McIvor son of the former station manager Daniel McIvor The father had grandiose plans for John to acuire ownership of Kuran Station through marriage to the last remaining White descendent His big ideas came to nought and subseuently John worked long and hard to purchase Kuran which he saw in some misguided way as his birthrightWhen the story opens in 1993 John is an elderly widower living in the dilapidated ruins of a once grand mansion Kuran House amid the memories and ghosts of the previous occupants Deeply conservative in both his morals and politics John becomes an activist campaigning against the proposed legislation for Native Title in the wake of the Australian High Court’s Mabo judgmentWhile John is a key figure in The White Earth the story revolves around his 9 year old great nephew William The young boy recently lost his father in a farming accident and he and his mother the vapid Veronica are taken in by John to live at the crumbling mansion which is falling down around them McGahan’s descriptions of the House the word is always capitalised through the book contribute to the Gothic atmosphere of the book The sense of neglect mould decay and sadness saturates the pages and the brooding grim House with its weird noises and mysterious rooms becomes like a character in the novel Outback version of the classic ‘haunted house’ You betcha The motif of rot is a dominant theme in this book The decay which pervades all areas of Kuran Station is echoed by the stinking rot eating away inside William’s head as his medical condition is allowed to continue undiagnosed and untreated by the negligent adults around him The other key motif of The White Earth is fire This is not warm healing nurturing fire but rather damaging flames cruel catastrophic surreal It is throughout the device of fire that the paranormal elements of this book are best conveyedNot being a fan of paranormal novels I approached the ‘ghost story’ part of this book with a degree of scepticism In the end I found that McGahan’s skill as a writer eased my anxieties and the supernatural elements added greatly to the story and to the sense of the Gothic While the narrative of the book is driven by the story of John McIvor’s passion for possession of land and ultimately ownership of Kuran Station the underlying story is that of ideas about ‘country’ and the dispossession of the indigenous inhabitants McIvor’s obsession plays out in his creation of an arch conservative political lobby group eerily similar to the emergence in Australian society of Pauline Hanson and One Nation in the mid 1990s The earlier history of the Whites and McIvors is gradually disclosed of brutal treatment of indigenous people as white settlers invaded ‘country’ in pursuit of their dreams of ownership and wealth from the land And indeed that brutality comes back to haunt the present generationIt is interesting to read this novel some 20 years after the Mabo decision and the passage of the Native Title laws Although I did not plan it I was fortunate to read this book during NAIDOC Week 2015 and during the days that the Const

Andrew McGahan Ô The White Earth KINDLE

The White EarthHis hold on the land is threatened by laws entitling the Aborigines to reclaim sacred sites William’s mother desperately wants her son to become John McIvor’s heir but no one realizes that William is ill and his condition is worsenin The White Earth is a very well written piece of Australian literature which highlights our short yet complex history the invasion of the land by the white people and the disruptions it caused for many many generations and how it still impacts society today Young William is the POV his father dies in a farm fire leaving his already mentally unstable mother a widow and penniless They move in with his great uncle John McIvor into a dilapidated homestead on Kuran Station in the Darling Downs William finds his new home aversive and is intrigued by his mysterious uncle who doesn't introduce himself until a week later William is diagnosed with a fake illness so he can take 3 months off school to fulfil a role his Uncle has in store for him His uncle has a strong connection with the land a connection he doesn't want lost when he dies William has until the end of the year to earn the right to inherit the station but at 9 years old he isn't even sure he wants it We learn of his uncle's long fight to be the landowner of Kuran Station which took than 40 years John's story was told very well and it made the story so much robust as the present day was complimented with the pastThe characters of John and William were very well developed and to a lesser extent Ruth John's daughter They had very real motivations desires and conflicts I felt frustration and anger towards William's mother who remains indifferent and depressed throughout the story unaware of the impact her emotional absence has on her young son The White Earth had me guessing to the very end what would happen to the property and how William would make sense of it all It was very cleverly written and left me contemplating historical and political issues that have persisted into modern day Australia