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Editor reviews

Veteran performer Melissa Eccleston lends her warm and empathetic voice to this moving coming-of-age story from Australian novelist Sonya Hartnett. With a gentle yet sincere delivery, Eccleston brings to life the memories of young Harper Flute as she recounts her family's struggles through the Great Depression. Thursday's Child is an unsentimental look at one family - and in particular, Harper's youngest brother, the ever-elusive Tin - and how they are able to persevere through poverty and heartbreak. This complex coming-of-age audiobook is sure to be a treat for listeners young and old.

Summary

The creature held a great bundle of something tied up in a rag. For a moment we stared, not recognizing him, but who else could it have been, who else but wandering Tin. We saw his naked limbs, his discoloured hair, his hooking razor-sharp nails. He raised lashy eyes to us and we saw a face on its way to another world.Through the long years of the Great Depression, Harper Flute watches with a child's clear eyes her family's struggle to survive in a hot and impoverished landscape. As life on the surface grows harsher, her brother Tin escapes ever deeper into a subterranean world of darkness and troubling secrets, until his memory becomes a myth barely whispered around the countryside.
©2000 Sonya Hartnett (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)

Critic reviews

"The haunting eloquence and dreamlike weaving of the mythic and the mundane invite comparisons to the works of David Almond." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hauntingly read by Melissa Eccleston...Thursday's Child is a poignant, emotionally wrenching, highly recommended narrative." (Midwest Book Review)

What listeners say about Thursday's Child

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worth the read

I enjoyed it, worth the read. The writing is pleasing and the the lead's pov is poignant and heart wrenching; brought a tear to my eye on numerous occasions. The theme of a small child taking on the burden of her broken family, seems to come from the writers own experience, pain and understanding.

My apologies in advance but I have to honest; I felt more time should have been spent on the outline.The surprise ending didn't surprise me. The idea of the small boy digging had more echoes of a ghost story that a straight period coming of age story. Something was not fully articulated. The leads own story was overshadowed by the digging. The editor needed to ask the author what was the digging about and help her lock down on one clear theme.

I can't help feeling that the writer's self exploration has literally dug itself into the story.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nina
  • 27-06-06

Difficult to like

This book has a good underlying narrative, but many stories have been written about the Irish pverty experience in recent years and most are better than this one.

It's very slow to get anything going, and I couldn't drum up much interest until over halfway thru it. Not the narrators fault. A well-constructed ending, but not much fun getting there.

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  • Ann
  • 08-01-12

well-written

This is the second book I have read by Sonya Hartnett. I read another of her books (in print form) and she can really write. Her books often get classified as children's books or young adult because of the age of the protagonists, but her writing is beautiful and definitely more literary.

Thursday's Child is such an original story. I loved the idea of Tin living underground and becoming like a mythical creature or animal (something other than human). I wished he was in the story a little more, because he was such an intriguing character. But there were other characters I liked and the dialogue and descriptions of rural Australia were also quite good.

Worth a listen if you like unique, well-written stories with a bit of fantasy or magical realism. The narrator has a lovely Australian accent and was a good choice for the book.

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  • Dana
  • 15-03-07

Very touching

This book is worth spending the evening or day listening to. I couldn't turn it off. I got my whole house clean while listening to this touching and sad story.