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Wild Chicory
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I've never met Kim Kelly, author, other than on Facebook. I have read and enjoyed her previous published novels, so when the publisher (The Author People) asked if I'd like to read her latest offering, Wild Chicory, I didn't hesitate. At only ninety-two pages I figured a novella would be a short read. As expected, I read the ninety-two pages in one sitting. What I didn't expect were tears-mine! Not because the ending was a sad one, but because the significance of Brigid Boszko's storytelling became clear to me in the final chapter. (I think I even gasped.) Wild Chicory is absolutely remarkable reading and a rich and wonderful history lesson that every child-every person-in Australia should read. (If I had been given this at school instead of Jamaica Inn I might have fallen in love earlier with reading, and writing, Aussie stories!) For the reader, Wild Chicory is a step back in time. A celebration of Australia and (what Kim, herself, describes as) 'the economic refugees who have made and continue to make our country what it is: a colourful patchwork of beauty and bigotry both, all sewn together with love'. For any writers out there: Wild Chicory is a short and extremely enjoyable lesson in clever crafting, superb structure, and the perfect use of POV. Like her character, Brigid Boszko, Kim Kelly is wonderful storyteller and 'her' story is so real I wanted more pages to read. My opinion: This novella is the author's tour de force. With a sublime narrative voice Wild Chicory is the kind of story that lingers long after the last page. - Jenn J McLeod (Author)

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