Thursday, October 11

The Diary of Charlotte McKenzie - Kerry Greenwood

Charlotte starts her diary on her birthday, writing in the beautiful blue leather notebook her uncle Donald sent from France. Uncle Donald is still fighting in the War, but Charlotte's father is home from the front, frighteningly changed.
As Charlotte writes about a life that seems all too ordinary to her - caring for her younger siblings, helping her nurse mother with the daily chores, unhappy about having to leave school and frustrated that she can't be a doctor because she's a girl - Charlotte given us an enlightening look at a very different world. As the school year ends, Charlotte tries to understand why her father is the way he is, through reading the text books of her friend Florence's GP father. Impressed by her intelligence and tenacity, Dr Barnes enlists Charlotte as his assistant. And, as the Great War finally ends, Charlotte becomes all to familiar with the new enemy the world has to fight - the Spanish Lady, a flu epidemic that would kill more Australians than the War did.
Once again Greenwood has managed to capture a real sense of time and place, this time through the first person perspective of a girl who doesn't understand everything she sees, but who grows up in a hurry. Just perfect, and a wonderful antidote to my last book. - Alex

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