My latest A-Z Book challenge book is Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany. Way back in February I listened to a podcast on Radio National and decided I needed to buy the book. I had read Carrie Tiffany’s previous book, Everyman’s rules for Scientific Living, as it had been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. I loved that book and so I was eager to read her second novel, Mateship with Birds.
I actually bought this book as an ebook and downloaded it to my phone. We were going overseas and this was one of the books I decided to try on my phone. Although I had to turn the page many, many times , 564 to be precise, as a phone is so much smaller than a Kindle, I enjoyed the experience of reading on the phone. Now I have an ipad so I don’t have the problem of turning the pages too frequently.
Mateship with Birds is only a small novel 179 pages but well worth the read.
“On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.
Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life – to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.”
It is a beautifully written book depicting life as it really is on a dairy farm in Australia in the 1950s.