I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read any Aboriginal literature, but when Mullumbimby crossed my desk just as I was looking for a holiday read, I was intrigued enough to pop it in my bag.

Melissa Lucashenko tells the story of Jo Breen and her quest for independence following her divorce from her musician husband and band-mate. Forced to deal with not only a broken heart, Jo must also navigate the issues of her culture to buy her own farm and settle there with her daughter, who resents being away from the city.

Tired from working day and night to tidy up the run down farm in Byron Bay which she now calls her own, Jo is soon caught up in a battle for native land rights. Just when she thinks things couldn’t get any more complicated, along comes a handsome stranger who causes her heart to flutter and her long buried passion to rise.

Thanks to the language of this darkly funny novel it takes a little to get into, but once you get your reading ear around the Aboriginal dialect, you’re hooked and it’s difficult to put down. This insight into cultural warfare is told with humour and the detail is sharp enough that you can easily picture the scenes playing out in front of you.

This modern tale of love, lust and war is set on ancient land and the old and new marry perfectly.

Melissa Lucashenko
University of Queensland Press
RRP: $29.95 – Buy on Booktopia for $23.95  

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Written by Debbie McTaggart