Folding future: Ed Oxenbould as Dylan, an 11 yo. who discovers he has a knack with folding stuff in Paper Planes.
Having grandchildren staying gave me the opportunity to see this new Australian movie, written, directed and produced by Robert Connolly.
This movie captures the imagination of children with its eleven-year-old Dylan, Ed Oxenbould, as the hero, succeeding against all the odds to participate in the Paper Plane World Championship. Dylan’s unassuming character shows his quiet strength coping with the enormous difficulties he’s facing.
The unique Western Australian landscape with its country school, gives a feeling of stepping back in time. Every emotion is tweaked.
I didn’t have high expectations, and yet the film was totally absorbing and left me feeling uplifted. Even if you don’t have children, it’s a delightful film to see.
‘Six Weeks in Summer’, written by Helen Meikle has a strong voice. The protagonist, Meg Cornwell, a freshly widowed, isolated woman, pulled at my heart- strings. A woman who had been overshadowed by her husband and his family, gradually begins to find herself and blossoms, as she discovers her strengths and shakes off the past.
Meikle captivates her audience, drawing them into a group of disparate characters. These lives very soon become entangled and, I too, felt part of this coterie, not wanting the story to finish.
The bullying antagonists are duly dealt with in an inventive way, bringing joy and warmth to the fragility of those other broken lives.
For those of you who have enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith’s tales of Scotland, here is an Australian story that is equally charming.
helen meikle’s scribblefest
‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M.L.Stedman
first published 2012
The story begins in Western Australia. Tom Sherbourne, the protagonist, is a returned soldier from WW1. On his return to Australia he obtains a job as the lighthouse keeper on a remote island, Janus Rock, soon taking his bride, Isobel, to live with him there.
Their loving relationship is marred by three miscarriages. When a baby washes up in a dinghy with her dead father, Isobel thinks God has answered her prayers. Tom is torn between keeping his wife happy and not breaking the law. This dilemma is the core of the story, which continues to maintain tension until the end of the book.
Wisdom and forgiveness are issues that are deftly dealt with. What is right? What is wrong? Sometimes it is difficult to know the difference.
I couldn’t put the book down and recommend this believable story.
The author was born and brought up in Western Australia and later moved to London UK. The book is permeated with her love of Western Australian flora and fauna and the ocean. As a first novel, (now translated into nearly 30 different languages), it has hit the best seller list in many countries, including being a New York Times Best Seller.
Dixie Minor’s Y/A book, ‘Winter Dream’, is set in the shadow of the north Georgia Mountains. The culture of a country town is reflected through the eyes of 18-year-old Jessie.
The loss of her mother at an early age permeates the story that encapsulates the uncertainties of youth.
Turmoil and dangers disrupt this peaceful town; combined with boy friend issues; suspense is maintained.
Jessie’s maturation is shown with her realization that she is not responsible for other people’s problems and happiness.
This book retains wholesome family values, without resorting to horror and terror. A welcome gift for any teenager. Dixie Minor is a fellow blogger and can be found at: http://www.dixieminor.wordpress.com