Review & Giveaway: A Distant Land by Alison Booth

Title: A Distant Land {The Jingera Trilogy}

Author: Alison Booth

Published: Random House June 2012

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from June 15 to 17, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

While A Distant Land is the third book in Alison Booth’s Jingera trilogy, it works surprisingly well as a stand alone novel. Here, the focus is on Zidria Vincent and Jim Cadwallader, childhood friends now in their mid 20’s.

Zidria is an ambitious journalist for the Sydney Morning Chronicle and when her friend, aboriginal activist Lorna, approaches her about a policeman’s threats and blackmail attempts, Zidria is intrigued by the potential of the story. Finally, here is the exciting investigative opportunity she has been craving.

Jim is a correspondent in Cambodia, but he has had enough of the war zone and plans to return to Australia and accept a position with the Human Rights Center at Sydney University. However a colleague’s last minute crisis means Jim has to endure a few more weeks in Indochina, a fateful twist of chance that will change everything for him, and for Zidria.

Exploring the larger issues of human rights, civil liberties and antiwar sentiment, A Distant Land is an interesting and realistic portrait of the political and social unrest in 1970’s Australia. While aboriginals were agitating for land rights and the ‘commie’ threat had the government on edge, the war raging in Vietnam was attracting growing protest. These issues provide fertile ground for Booth to weave a story of suspense as Zidria works to expose the corrupt practices of the government and ASIO.

Amongst the national and international issues, Booth also explores the personal implications of the conflicts such as fear, loss and grief. Though Lorna is concerned by the threats of physical harm if she refuses to cooperate with the police, she is more afraid of their threats against her young sister and when Jim goes missing in Cambodia and is presumed dead, his family and Zidria grieve deeply.

I thought perhaps the romantic element – the relationship between Jim and Zidria – got a little lost within the story, partially because they spend little time together but also because the reticence of both Jim and Zidria in confessing their feelings didn’t seem to fit either their characters or their circumstances, though perhaps, had I read the previous two novels, it would have made more sense to me.

Regardless, I found A Distant Land to be a well crafted, interesting and enjoyable read. I found Zidria to be an appealing character and I particularly liked the era and the socio-political background in which the novel was set. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the two previous novels in this trilogy, Stillwater Creek and The Indigo Sky.

Earlier today Alison Booth wrote about A Distant Land her at Book’d Out. Click here for more information.

You can also learn more about Alison

@Website@Facebook I @Twitter

A Distant Land is Available to Purchase

@Random House Au I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @AmazonKindle

viaBooko

ENTER to WIN

Thanks to Alison Booth I have 1 print edition of

A Distant Land

to giveaway.

Open to Australian residents only

ENTER HERE

Closes June 30th 2013. Drawn via random.org

awwbadge_2013

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alison Booth
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 07:05:17

    Thanks for the great feedback. Always good to read your views.

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  2. Mystica
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:37:48

    Thanks for the review on a book and author both new to me.

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    • Alison
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 09:26:00

      Mystica, I’d suggest starting with Stillwater Creek, the first in the trilogy, but do enter the random draw anyway. As Shelleyrae showed, the books can be read independently. (Stillwater Creek has been chosen as one of the three Random House books in this year’s Surrender to Summer volume, but that’s not being published until December.)

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  3. Bec Brown
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 22:46:23

    I’ve read the first two which I loved – hoping to read the final instalment while I’m on holidays

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    • Alison
      Jun 20, 2013 @ 06:31:30

      Thanks, Bec – I hope you have a great holiday. (I’m having one shortly too, seeking some warmth away from Canberra’s winter – minus 2 this morning…)

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  4. Paula C
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 08:57:18

    I loved all three, but I do think you get a better insight and understanding of the characters if you read them in order. Each new instalment was like visiting old friends for me🙂

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    • Alison Booth
      Jun 20, 2013 @ 11:44:27

      Thanks, Paula. Lovely that you view the characters as old friends. (I spent seven years with them and it was hard to say goodbye when I had to hand them over to Random House…)
      I’m always interested to learn what works and what doesn’t with the order of reading the books. Earlier this week I was invited to a Book Club dinner where the group had just read The Indigo Sky; some read it as their first introduction to my books, others as the 2nd. Those who’d read them in order agreed with you – the others weren’t yet in a position to comment!

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