The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen

 

My second read from the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist was The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen.

This is a unique read in that it is told from the perspective of a galah, set in a small Australian town around the time of the moon landing. The Australia – Houston tie in with the town hosting a dish for communications with NASA drew me in immediately!
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What I most enjoyed about this character-driver narrative was the intimacy and detail with which we got to know the characters in this small community. Lucky the galah hears all manner of stories in the time she lives with various people in the community – her time living on the shoulder of an Indigenous woman was one of the most intriguing narratives. Through the galah’s lens we hear about the politics and racial tensions of the time, including the stolen generation. On a more light-hearted front, we also hear about childhood adventures, romantic affairs, and of course the experience of the town during the famous moon landing.

Part of this narrative included ‘intercepted messages’ that the galah tuned into from the dish – a quirky concept but not one that I think the narrative needed to work effectively. If anything this sometimes confused where the narrative was coming from.

This was a fun and unique read (reminding me a little of previous winner, Ceridwen Dovey’s ‘Only the Animals’) and I’m looking forward to reading more from this award list! 🌟🌟🌟💫

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