Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Witch Music and Other Stories by Gillian Rubinstein

Again, if you like the pleasure of reading a story in a sitting this may be a book you would enjoy. It contains eight short stories which mainly deal with social situations. They are like magical realism in many respects; very typical of this author. My favourite magical realism author is Isabel Allende, a Chilean writer, who has written three books for children in recent years.These stories from Rubinstein are in fact magical stories set in ordinary settings such as primary school, at the beach and at home. Each story is prefaced by a detailed ink depiction of the story by artist Malcolm Liddell. My favourite story is The Unproper Father about Mr Williams who drank, never became violent, but was a bit hazy. Once he came to your house it was hard to make him leave. One scene is reminiscent of the times when I used to put my ear to the rails of the tracks of the very narrow train bridge which ran over the Leven Bridge in Ulverstone on the north-west coast of Tasmania, to check for the possibility of a train before scurrying across it with athletic-speed. Hopefully kids don't do dumb things like this these days. Many incidents in this story remind me of my childhood. so maybe that it why it appealed to me.

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