Sunday, September 16, 2007

69. "Mr. Pip" - Lloyd Jones


Matilda, a 13-year-old native of the village of Bougainville, follows along as her teacher, Mr. Watts, reads aloud Great Expectations. It is the best way to forget about the "redskins" who burn down her village and the boys who have left the village to hide in the jungle.

A story about New Guinea and Australia's invasion of the Bougainville property in 1990 (heard of it?), it is also a story of survival through invisibility. The story allows the students to be hidden from their families, and Mr. Watts, the last white man in the village, uses it to hide the discomfort of his life.

It's a short book, more novella than novel. With a severe reliance on Great Expectations, it seems that the author could have provided more to the story. The metaphor of invisibility worked for Jones, as well.

2.5 out of 5.0 Fruit Freaks.



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