Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

The Golden Day
The Australian author, Ursula Dubosarsky, has given us this little jewel of a book, one of those that begs to be read slowly and savored. It takes place in a school for girls during the 1970s and in some ways reminded me of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. A free-spirited teacher takes her class to a park to contemplate death. A man had been hung in Melbourne that morning and she wants the girls (who don't even know where Melbourne is) to think about things. 
It did seem a particularly wicked thing to do, the little girls agreed, on such a warm and lovely day when everything in it was so alive. Better to hang a person at night when it was already sad and dark.
They meet the handsome poet/gardener (teacher's boyfriend?) there who takes them to a cave to see some examples of indigenous art. The girls are a combination of innocent, immature, and rather silly and are completely clueless what to do when their teacher vanishes. Should they tell someone? Return to school? Tell about the gardener? It's hard to tell if they are more scared about what happened to the teacher or what might happen to themselves. I had an image of a huddled group of whimpering puppies.

Treat yourself to this delicious morsel of a book if you enjoy light mystery.

No comments: