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Salt Creek is a real place in South Australia and some of the characters who appear on Treloar’s novel are historical figures. The story however, is fiction.
Set between 1855-1875 the story follows the lives of early Australian settlers, the Finch family – their misfortunes and fascinating times in the remote and harsh landscape of Salt Creek.
European attempts at farming destroy the natural habitat of the first inhabitants – the Ngarrindjeri. The social conscience of these early Australian settlers is soon taken over by the stronger desire to survive in their own terms.
The narrator, Hester Finch, tells the story as a series of flashbacks after her return to England, where despite everything she had to endure at Salt D=Creek, she misses the beauty if the landscape and the people.
Designed for younger high school readers, this novel is based around the lives of Chinese immigrants who left their homeland to find their fortunes in Australia during the goldrush.
Yong accompanies his father and other families from their small village in Guangdong, to the goldfields of Ballarat.
The story provides a strong understanding of traditional Chinese family values and in particular, honour.
Fin is a typical 16 year old school boy – fancies the girl next door and gets on with life at school.
But life takes an unbelievable turn when a conflict in a far away place changes his life for ever.
This is a very readable story, well told, with lots of action but also a great deal of sensitivity. Set in present day Australia, The sky so heavy is a look at what life would be like after a nuclear disaster. For Fin, his brother Max and school friend Lucy, things will never be the same. As a the nuclear winter takes hold of their ‘world’ the teenagers are forced to make decisions children should never have to make. Separated from their families and every sense of normality that they have ever known, the friends fight for survival
This book will be a popular choice for all readers.