A wonderful 'Discovery' text. I was very impressed by the creativeness of how the author constructed her short story/novel structure. The ability for each of the twenty vignettes to stand alone as well as blend into a quest narrative was masterfully handled. The cyclical form foregrounds the transformative nature of discovery, be it in this text, of self, place or cultural affiliations and identity. Readers are immediately drawn in by the subjective voice and the authenticity of the dialogue which really captures the resonance of spoken speech and cameo individuality even with the minor characters such as some of the truckies who give May lifts.
It achieves the introspective and life-like quality of a memoir, landmark events and emotions conveyed with palpable intensity that challenges readers to identify with the protagonist as well as reflect on the issues raised. It has the richness needed to address more than just a couple of the Discovery elements dictated by the rubric which is where some of the other prescribed texts fall short. Students will be quickly be able to discern what has been lost as well as what is found in this explorative bildungsroman pilgrimage to discover extended family, a sense of place and finally a recognition of the importance of 'home'. It is inspirational is showing an adolescent audience in particular, the challenges as well as the benefits of stoic resilience in the face of adversity within a very real and socially relevant framework. What Winch has to say and how effectively she conveys it should make this a wonderful text to teach, much more so with a 'Discovery' rather than 'Belonging' conceptual focus. There should be no problem in analysing concepts and the methods used to develop them.
I will now be moving onto 'Frank Hurley' which is another wonderful 'Discovery' text that enables teachers and students to evaluate non-fiction, documentary techniques far more effectively, I believe, than can be done with 'The Motorcycle Diaries' which I feel many students might find far to dry and uninspiring by comparison.
All the best with Trial Paper scripts; hoping they are a pleasant surprise.
I am an experienced English Head Teacher, author and presenter.