24.09.2018 1 Comments

I took a rose for her," she says. Her grandmother, Nanny Iris, took centre stage in a vaudeville group, and her mother and aunties broke into three part harmonies so often they were called the "Black Andrews Sisters". The author jumps frequently and annoyingly from head to head, giving us an 'update' in a paragraph or two of the characters current 'state'. The songs she was singing about — 'Talking about a revolution', domestic violence — were things I could totally relate to. Certainly Bennett regards herself as fortunate to have been born into "a long line of musicians".


Late last year Roach unearthed Dancing With My Spirit, first recorded 20 years ago, after he realised many of the tracks captured his voice and song writing at their best. To them, she is still their Tidda girl, or little sister. Talking to them is our way of honouring the deep connection we have with our country, and for every living being around us. They're on Jaara country, the land of her ancestors, and a kilometre drive north to Echuca where most of her family still live. People have sung it back to us in Spain, Switzerland, Hawaii. By , she'd proved them wrong, after joining Saunders and Dastey in the folk trio Tiddas, an Aboriginal word for sisters. The turning point came when she saw the American songstress Tracy Chapman in Melbourne. I mean I was head over heels in love with this woman. The author jumps frequently and annoyingly from head to head, giving us an 'update' in a paragraph or two of the characters current 'state'. Roach has seen a big shift in mainstream attitudes to Indigenous music over the last few decades. So I'm not sure what message this book is trying to convey with regard to the tiddas. I took a rose for her," she says. The women are very close, having developed a strong bond as they have grown up together and are like sisters, or 'tiddas' in the local aboriginal language. As if on cue for the spiritual subject matter, night is falling, and the ghostly face of Central Station clock tower looms above the hotel courtyard Bennett is sitting in. The women suppo While I enjoyed this story of five middle aged women from Mudgee now living in Brisbane I didn't love it and I'm not quite sure that I got the point of it. The dialogue is stilted and unrealistic. A lot of people didn't take her seriously and thought that a Koori girl from a small country town would never make it. Bennett was 19 at the time, but she remembers the night as if it was yesterday. This might have lifted it to a star novel, instead of the 2-star novel it is now. Archie Roach and Tiddas, who have got back together for a national tour. But their harmonies resonated with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people around the globe. The plot is very weak, with few moments of tension, suspense and high drama. However, all these women are now all middle class with careers or wealthy partners, living well integrated lives in a large city and are not shown as having to deal with overt racism and are not confronted with many of the problems that still affect indigenous Australians, who may not be as educated or well off. I would have suggested devoting an entire chapter at a time to a character. The point of view of all the women is heard throughout the book and their characters are well developed and grow and change throughout the story.


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