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  • An epic journey to round out an epic series

    What an incredible story. For over thirty years I taught refugees, not just from Vietnam, but also from just about every country where conflict and circumstance meant Australia accepted the displaced. The harrowing stories they had and the numbers who had their names involuntarily changed because it was more convenient for the English speakers around them or had their names mangled because they apparently didn't deserve to have their names pronounced with respect and dignity, brought Su Lin's story sharply into focus. It is not surprising that a lot of her story has to do with the effects of the Simmons family on her and her suspicious and overprotective nature ("Have you got your EpiPen? Have you got your puffer?"), but a lot of the story is also about her resilience, her stubbornness and her determination to rise above what life has thrown at her. It has been a joy watching Charlie's journey from a boy whose asthma and allergies affected every aspect of his life to a young man with growing confidence and determination, especially to know who he is and where he's come from, as well as watching his asthma-less adventures that have so much to do with Blake, the triathlete literally next door. As a finale to this series, this novel rounds out so much with optimism, with the importance of family, and because of those new babies, the value of generations, and without any sadness (not a spoiler, but I would have been devastated if the cast of characters was somehow incomplete at the end). This series has been a joy to read; I'm sorry this appears to be the end of the line, but wouldn't it have been fun for Ronaldo to have story? No - skip that; it would have been too hard to see the cycle of life completed. I love the way Ms Carr's writing brings in a whole community and while each novel has dealt specifically with one couple, we all know it takes a village and that's what Ms Carr presents us with in spades in each novel. I will miss the characters of Thunder Point, the joyful time line that links each book and the seasons that bring back characters but I am very happy I got to know these characters for a while.

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