Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman. (2017).
*4 out of 5 stars*
There are Settlers and there are Natives of the Colony, and the Settlers want to control the Natives by separating families and enforced education. It is the familiar story of Australia’s history except it’s not that story, it’s something different.
The first 9 chapters go at a fairly slow pace, but are quite descriptive and set the scene. It reads like an account of when Australia was colonized, but we know from the blurb at the back that this is not the story. The reader finds out the real story in chapter 10 and it has to be one of the most unexpected plot twists I’ve read, it was very well done. I can’t say much more about the plot for fear of spoilers! It’s an interesting novel that draws heavily on the experiences of Indigenous Australians when Australia was colonized. The author paints a picture that forces the reader to imagine what it would be like to be torn from your family and your home while being treated like an unintelligent animal. A compelling debut novel from this author.