In fear for their lives after the sudden death of their mother, Adéla and Klára must flee Prague to find refuge with their uncle in Australia. Later, Adéla becomes a film director at a time when the local industry is starting to feel the competition from Hollywood. But even while success is imminent, the issues of family and an impossible love are never far away. And ultimately dreams of the silver screen must compete with the bonds of a lifetime. Silver Wattle confirms Belinda Alexandra as one of our foremost storytellers. Weaving fact into inspiring fiction with great flair and imagination, this is a novel as full of hope, glamour and heartbreak as the film industry itself.
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This novel is like a rag rug, pieces of other people’s masters. Alexandra tries to create an interesting and complex fiction but ultimately bores with too many conflicts, characters and ideologies!
Silver Wattle’s conflicts journey along; murder, mental illness, polio, tuberculosis/consumption, high risk pregnancy of twins, murder AGAIN, and (I jest not) a snakebite. Besides the protagonist, characters comprise in part of, sister, mother, father, step father, step father’s girl friend, aunt, uncle, uncle’s wife, nephew, landlord, boyfriend, husband, lover, sister’s husband, landlord, camera man… and sooo many more. Everyone is proficient! There is a prodigy piano player, renowned interior designer, expert doctors, brilliant photographer, successful scriptwriter, movie producer, biologist, entrepreneur... REALLY! I wished there had been an accomplished author.
The locations that are expounded on are Checkesolvokia and too many places in Australia to care. We encounter a castle, a shanty, a shack, a cinema, a mansion, a cottage... are you beginning to feel the groan?
We visit social concerns like animal cruelty & vegetarianism, racism & discrimination, woman’s liberation, high society, philantropy & poverty, greedy Americans & altruistic Europeans, Catholicism & spiritualism (complete with ghost and apparition), wincing yet?
The inappropriate lover vs. husband tension is simply resolved by the death of one them. Writer’s copout! Which brings me to the lack of strength and morality of the protagonist, perpetrating such betrayal and dishonor on her husband. Albeit, she would never have acted that way towards an animal!
Lewd writing was minimal but that “rag” was in there too. A descriptive scene of touching a naked body part cheapened the read, in my opinion, to porn.
In conclusion, Narrator Caroline Lee did a good job except for the fact I could hear her eyes rolling to the back of her head. Too many words, no respect for words and certainly not a master of them! Avoid at all cost.
This is one of the best books I have ever read or listened to. I found the setting of Prague fascinating and then secret migration of the young sisters to Australia kept me in suspence as the story unfolded. Having spent my childhood in Watsons Bay, but of course at a later date, it added extra personal interest for me. The narration by Caroline Lee was excellent. I couldn't wait to start the next Belinda Alexandra novel.