Book Review: Mullumbimby

Mullumbimby is a novel by Melissa Lucashenko. The novel is set in the real town of Mullumbibmy, Australia. The town was originally inhabited by the Bundjalung people, a group of Aboriginal Australians. The story focuses on Jo Breen, a woman with Bundjalung ancestry as the families around her begin to fight for their land. Jo falls in love with TwoBoy, a Bundjalung man fighting against her family for his family's rights to the land.

I was really excited to read Mullumbimby, as I've never read anything about Aboriginal life in Australia. With Ms. Lucashenko having Aboriginal heritage and growing up in Australia, I thought Mullumbimby would be a great introduction to a new culture and an exciting read. Mullumbibmy has won several awards and even a cash prize for its brilliance. Unfortunately, I found it a bit dull. I read about half way through the novel before giving up. While there were cultural references—which I enjoyed—I felt it read more like a romance than anything else. I was never a fan of romance novels, and wasn't particularly intrigued by Jo and TwoBoy's "courtship." Perhaps the story picks up later in the book, but I was lulled into sleep and have not finished yet. I will hopefully get around to finishing it one day.

If you are thinking of reading this, or having your child read this, a warning that there is a bit of profanity and a brief/mild sex scene (at least until the point I read).


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