By Gail Jones
Completed January 2, 2009
“Sorry” – five letters, two syllables, and maybe one of the hardest words to utter in the English language. And for the great nation of Australia, it’s an especially important word – one that many say, feel and think despite political issues. It’s an apology to the Aboriginal people for their years of mistreatment and prejudice, and the cornerstone of Gail Jones’s phenomenal book, Sorry.
Sorry was the story of young Perdita – a girl being raised by unfit parents who found solace and love with her Aboriginal nanny, Mary. Together with her friend, Billy, Perdita and Mary explored the bush, learned about native culture and found a sense of family that was stronger than any blood relation. When tragedy struck, their love proved even stronger, surviving the test of time and separation. I don’t want to give away too much but know that the plot was simple, moving and heart-warming. It reaffirmed that love has no boundaries or prejudice.
Jones wrote Sorry with such beautiful language – a wonderful tribute to her native country. Moreover, one cannot overlook the larger theme – an apology – that permeated throughout this story. Set in World War II, it not only explored the history of the treatment of Aboriginal people, it also shed light on how Australia dealt with the threat of Japanese invasion. From a historical standpoint, Sorry was insightful and educational.
I simply cannot rave enough about this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read. That’s it – anyone (in fact, everyone) should read Sorry. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this touching story.