Black Bones, Red Earth, by Lee Richie, is a story inspired by true events, and while the author has taken fictional license, the story reads as if every word of it actually happened. This is a very deep and haunting tale, one that takes the reader sixty years back in the life of a young orphan named Katherine, who finds herself being traded off from her birth home in England, to a couple who live in the remote Outback of Australia. Set in post WWII rural Australia, the author does an excellent job of depicting the lifestyle in this barren and merciless landscape. The story begins with Katherine arriving in Australia and her introduction to her new and bizarre life, and goes on through her early teens until her road takes a dramatic and unforeseen turn. What happens next is a twisted and completely believable scenario that will have you flipping to the next chapter. This is a beautifully written story, with an ocean of metaphors and allegories that paint a three-dimensional canvas for the reader. One can actually sense what life was like in the Outback, its visceral charm and brutish side, the smell of the air, the feel of its sweltering heat and more. In as much as the story is well-written and keeps a grip on the reader, so does the impressionistic style of writing. As a final note, this novel, like so many others written about the injustices against the American blacks and the indigenous peoples of America, this story spotlights the similar outrageous abuses committed by the “whites” against the Aboriginal people of Australia. Overall, a very good read and worthy of a five star rating.
About Lee Richie
Lee Richie was born and grew up in Liverpool, England before migrating to Canada and, later, Australia.
“I’ve had the good fortune to travel the world and live in many places and this has always inspired me to write. Meeting people from all walks of life and different backgrounds provide a treasure trove of ideas for characters and their stories.
Lee is currently writing book two of the Alexander Bottom series, and an adult thriller set in London.