Review: Truganini by Cassandra Pybus

Title: Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse

Author: Cassandra Pybus

Published: March 3rd 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read March 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

Inspired by her ancestors connection to the woman known as the ‘last Tasmanian Aborigine’, Truganini by Cassandra Pybus, is a stunning historical biography.

Born around 1812 on Bruny Island, Truganini survived the capture, forced relocation, attempted assimilation and sanctioned extermination of the First Nations population of Tasmania, before dying in 1876. Drawing on a number of historical sources, including personal journals, oral histories, government records, and newspaper archives, Pybus pieces together the story of Truganini’s extraordinary life.

Placed under the ‘protection’ of Christian missionary George Robinson as a teenager she was induced to behave as his emissary/guide aiding in his self-appointed task to ‘save’ the indigenous peoples, by leading them Into exile. She was to spend more than a decade with Robinson, accompanying him to ‘New Holland’, before fleeing his patronage, only to be accused of murder and be sent into exile on Flinders Island, and later Oyster Cove. Even in death she was denied self-determination, her wish to be cremated and her ashes spread over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel ignored for over a hundred years.

Honestly I have no words to communicate the deep sorrow I feel for the fate of Truganini and all of the indigenous peoples. This harrowing narrative reveals a spirited and courageous woman who suffered unimaginable losses – the annihilation of her country, her culture, her kin, and her identity. Pybus’s account is rendered with honesty and empathy, shedding light on the shameful history Australia is yet to reconcile.

Profound, poignant, and perceptive, Truganini should be required reading for all Australian’s to aid in our understanding of, and acknowledgement of, our past.


Available from Allen & Unwin. RRP AUD $32.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Mar 12, 2020 @ 20:16:14

    I picked up a copy from the library today!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Claire Louisa
    Mar 12, 2020 @ 20:45:34

    I’m reading this atm, slowly, but I’m getting through it. It’s very good, though very terrible.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
    Mar 13, 2020 @ 12:04:59

    Wow this sounds like such a powerful book! Absolutely heartbreaking for sure, but it sounds like it is completely worth the pain. Great review, so glad that it touched you so deeply!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. 1girl2manybooks
    Mar 13, 2020 @ 14:14:21

    I wanted to read this one so badly…..but I had so many books to get through! I think I’m going to have to request it from my library and try and fit it in a bit later.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. fuonlyknew
    Mar 14, 2020 @ 02:38:33

    I want to read this but when I’m in the right mood.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Helen Murdoch
    Mar 14, 2020 @ 13:34:12

    This topic is such an interesting one and if you loved this book I’ve got to add it to my TBR list

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  8. Trackback: Celebrating Women's History Month ~ Friday Finds plus Book Blogger Hop – Floras Musings…
  9. Trackback: Six Degrees of Separation: Stasiland to A Beautiful Place To Die | book'd out
  10. Trackback: History Memoir and Biography Round Up: March 2020 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog
  11. Trackback: Nonfiction November 2020 | book'd out
  12. Trackback: Celebrating Women's History Month ~ Friday Finds plus Book Blogger Hop | Flora's Musings

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s