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Showing posts from August, 2005

Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

As the old saying goes: 'this is an oldie but a goodie'. Daughter of Time is an excellent defence of Richard III and a much more entertaining way of learning some history than reading a dry textbook.

Tey's hard-working detective, Grant, lies in bed in hospital at the beginning of the book with a leg injury. Bored and missing his police work, when his bright actress friend, Marta, gives him some portraits to study concerning historical mysteries, he becomes intrigued. The portrait of Richard III surprises him. He has long been told, like the rest of us, that Richard was a monster who would do anything to claim the throne including murdering the little Princes, his own brother's children.
When he looks at the portrait, however, he sees the face of a 'judge', someone of integrity.

The two nurses who are entertaining characters - the bossy 'Amazon' and the timid 'Midget' - agree with him and decide to help him discover the truth about Richard. On…

From the Outback to Fairyland


Phyllis McDuff has written a fascinating tale about a daughter who searches for her mysterious mother's past and finds out much more about herself along the way. A quintessentially Australian migrant story it involves a country childhood, an adolescence spent in a schizophrenic whirl between Australia and Austria and discovery of a family's true past. Most of all, however, it is the story of Bettina McDuff, a tremendously strong and enigmatic character who escaped from the Nazi's to make a new life in Australia.

Bettina came from an extremely wealthy family with a luxurious house in Austria. When the Nazi's captured Austria this wealth was requisitioned and Bettina managed somehow to escape here. Used to having all the domestic duties done by servants and a former pupil at a famous English private school, in Australia she found herself poor and had to take any work she could. She worked on a farm and met Joe, a much older man who…