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The Girl from Snowy River

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The year is 1919. Thirty years have passed since the man from Snowy River made his famous ride. But World War I still casts its shadow across a valley in the heart of Australia, particularly for orphaned sixteen-year-old Flinty McAlpine, who lost a brother when the Snowy River men marched away to war. Why has the man Flinty loves returned from the war so changed and distant The year is 1919. Thirty years have passed since the man from Snowy River made his famous ride. But World War I still casts its shadow across a valley in the heart of Australia, particularly for orphaned sixteen-year-old Flinty McAlpine, who lost a brother when the Snowy River men marched away to war. Why has the man Flinty loves returned from the war so changed and distant? Why has her brother Andy ′gone with cattle′, leaving Flinty in charge of their younger brother and sister and with the threat of eviction from the farm she loves so dearly? A brumby muster held under the watchful eye of the legendary Clancy of the Overflow offers hope. Now Flinty must ride to save her farm, her family and the valley she loves. Set among the landscapes of the great poems of Australia, this book is a love song to the Snowy Mountains and a tribute to Australia′s poets who immortalised so much of our land. The Girl from Snowy River combines passion, heartbreak, history and an enduring love and rich understanding of our land. It continues the grand saga that began with A Waltz for Matilda.


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The year is 1919. Thirty years have passed since the man from Snowy River made his famous ride. But World War I still casts its shadow across a valley in the heart of Australia, particularly for orphaned sixteen-year-old Flinty McAlpine, who lost a brother when the Snowy River men marched away to war. Why has the man Flinty loves returned from the war so changed and distant The year is 1919. Thirty years have passed since the man from Snowy River made his famous ride. But World War I still casts its shadow across a valley in the heart of Australia, particularly for orphaned sixteen-year-old Flinty McAlpine, who lost a brother when the Snowy River men marched away to war. Why has the man Flinty loves returned from the war so changed and distant? Why has her brother Andy ′gone with cattle′, leaving Flinty in charge of their younger brother and sister and with the threat of eviction from the farm she loves so dearly? A brumby muster held under the watchful eye of the legendary Clancy of the Overflow offers hope. Now Flinty must ride to save her farm, her family and the valley she loves. Set among the landscapes of the great poems of Australia, this book is a love song to the Snowy Mountains and a tribute to Australia′s poets who immortalised so much of our land. The Girl from Snowy River combines passion, heartbreak, history and an enduring love and rich understanding of our land. It continues the grand saga that began with A Waltz for Matilda.

30 review for The Girl from Snowy River

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clare Cannon

    French's books help to put heart into history. Her characters are so real and warm you can just about feel their pulse; they are people you get to know, and after reading their story a part of them lives on in you. This third instalment of her Matilda Saga narrates an experience of World War I for those left behind. Told through the eyes of seventeen year old Flinty McAlpine, the novel starts with her frustration at not being able to find out what the war was really like. Then, as we get to know French's books help to put heart into history. Her characters are so real and warm you can just about feel their pulse; they are people you get to know, and after reading their story a part of them lives on in you. This third instalment of her Matilda Saga narrates an experience of World War I for those left behind. Told through the eyes of seventeen year old Flinty McAlpine, the novel starts with her frustration at not being able to find out what the war was really like. Then, as we get to know her and her siblings and neighbours, a new and initially surprising element is introduced in the figure of a young man from the future with whom Flinty is able to converse. While a little disconcerting at first, his presence allows some apt comparisons between the attitudes and experiences of the early and later 20th century, and somehow his appearance doesn't feel inconsistent with mountain folk lore. Other staples of French's stories feature here as well: a strong female character whose strength is not merely bestowed by the author but earned through a life of struggle; a wonderful, holistic romance that has its ups and downs but ultimately works everything for the good; and it poses the kind of questions about history that one has always wanted to ask, dealing with it as something real and lived through rather than mere text-book facts. French has now announced the series will contain six books, spanning from 1894 - 1972. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next three. Reviewed for www.GoodReadingGuide.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), PTSD, discussions of war, serious physical injury, racism, attempted rape. 4.5 stars. I was hesitant going into this one despite LOVING A Waltz for Matilda. Why? Because it's very obviously a horsey book and I have horse fear. Fortunately, despite a slightly rocky beginning, I ended up absolutely loving it. It does a fantastic job of dealing with the aftermath of the First World War, with how the world wasn't adequately prepared to deal with a g Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), PTSD, discussions of war, serious physical injury, racism, attempted rape. 4.5 stars. I was hesitant going into this one despite LOVING A Waltz for Matilda. Why? Because it's very obviously a horsey book and I have horse fear. Fortunately, despite a slightly rocky beginning, I ended up absolutely loving it. It does a fantastic job of dealing with the aftermath of the First World War, with how the world wasn't adequately prepared to deal with a generation of broken men, with how a generation of girls and women had to suddenly find a way to survive without the support of fathers and brothers and husbands who came home changed or not at all. There's a little bit of a timeslip element here and while I was initially very hesitant about it, I ended up loving that part of the story. Basically? This was wonderful and I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next book in the series. (Also I just want to note that the first book in this series is often classed as middle grade, but it isn't. And this DEFINITELY isn't middle grade. Please do not give it to primary school aged children okay cool bye)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kataryna Hermans

    What a fabulous novel by Jackie French. A thrilling story of the Australian Snowy Mountains, the great brumby musters, the legend of the Man from Snowy River and a girl who made her way through all of lifes challenges. This is a story that can't be missed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    See blog for review, as I read this as part of the Australian Women Writer's Challenge 2017.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    See this review and more on my blog: https://readwritetravel.wordpress.com... I’ve started to fall in love with historical fiction, and Jackie French’s books set in past Australia are particularly appealing at the moment. This is the story of Flinty McAlpine, a girl living in the mountains post-World War I Australia. When the boys came back from the war, nothing was the same–Sandy, her sweetheart, wouldn’t talk to her. Andy, her brother, left the farm to go droving in Queensland, leaving her to lo See this review and more on my blog: https://readwritetravel.wordpress.com... I’ve started to fall in love with historical fiction, and Jackie French’s books set in past Australia are particularly appealing at the moment. This is the story of Flinty McAlpine, a girl living in the mountains post-World War I Australia. When the boys came back from the war, nothing was the same–Sandy, her sweetheart, wouldn’t talk to her. Andy, her brother, left the farm to go droving in Queensland, leaving her to look after her younger brother and sister. Then there are the boys who didn’t come back, like her brother Jeff. No one will talk about the war until Flinty meets a soldier ghost from the future, who gives her an idea of what her friends went through. He also bears a warning: that for Flinty, the worst is yet to come–but the best is, too. Chock full of Australianisms, this book might require an Australian dictionary close at hand (if you don’t have an Australian in the room to ask.) But that’s what makes this book so engrossing. With brumbies and chooks and billies and whatever else, it couldn’t be set anywhere but Australia. I think that makes it fresh, too–Australia is often overlooked by most, and it’s not often you come across a book set here, even when you’re living in the country. The characters were lovable and well-written, Flinty standing out as strong and curious; Mrs. Mack the quintessential caring housewife; Kirsty, a girl who’s had to take on too much too soon but remains upbeat nonetheless. Flinty is surrounded by strong women who help and encourage her–like Miss Matilda, previously seen in A Waltz for Matilda, who owns the largest farm in the district. Flinty draws strength from all of them in her time of need, and it’s that which gets her through. I did think that this was a book begging to be written in first-person. Each chapter started with a diary entry from Flinty, in first person of course. It then transitioned to third person, and I admit I stumbled sometimes over the “she”s meant to be Flinty, as I constantly thought of her as “I.” Not to say it didn’t work this way, too, but it would be interesting to see it all in first person and see what difference it made. This book was well worth the read, especially if you’re interested in Australian history, or if you just like historical fiction and are looking for a new setting. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into A Rose for the Anzac Boys next!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gabby Kenny

    The Girl from Snowy River is a heart‐warming story about a seventeen-year-old girl called Flinty living in the Australian bush, recovering from the losses of her mum, dad, and elder brother, all who were lost in the presence of the war. With both parents dead, Flinty is bringing up her younger siblings, as her brother Andy has 'gone with cattle' to Queensland. Money is tight, but as the best rider in the family, Flinty seizes the opportunity to make a quick 100 quid. Disguised as a boy, she talks The Girl from Snowy River is a heart‐warming story about a seventeen-year-old girl called Flinty living in the Australian bush, recovering from the losses of her mum, dad, and elder brother, all who were lost in the presence of the war. With both parents dead, Flinty is bringing up her younger siblings, as her brother Andy has 'gone with cattle' to Queensland. Money is tight, but as the best rider in the family, Flinty seizes the opportunity to make a quick 100 quid. Disguised as a boy, she talks her way into a brumby muster headed up by the legendary Clancy of the Overflow. Among the herd there is an unbroken colt that Flinty buys as she can see his enormous potential. But for a young girl, there is still so much of life to be lived and while she has hints of her future, she never imagines what life can really hold for her. As Flinty gets on with her life, the story unfolds, bringing you closer to the characters in the book, making you feel for them as if they were your own family which is why I really loved it. I don’t read much however, I really loved every part of this book. There are many cliff hangers making you want to keep reading forever! I would recommend this book to people between the ages of 10 and 16. However it is an easy read and very enjoyable for all ages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Best

    It was a bit hard to rate this one, cos I read it at work in my break, and not every day, so it was a bit of a disrupted read over what seemed like a long time. I did enjoy it, though I wish I had read the series in order. I still like the final book in the series the best.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Boeyen

    Jackie French has this incredible way of writing that blows me away every singe time. The Girl From Snowy River was no exception. Flinty is a determined young woman, desperate to prove she is capable, but is still believably constrained by thought patterns and expectations of her time. Some of the things that happen to her are devastating, but her reactions are what makes her such a joy to read about. The way French writes about war and the impact it had on the men, women and children of the e Jackie French has this incredible way of writing that blows me away every singe time. The Girl From Snowy River was no exception. Flinty is a determined young woman, desperate to prove she is capable, but is still believably constrained by thought patterns and expectations of her time. Some of the things that happen to her are devastating, but her reactions are what makes her such a joy to read about. The way French writes about war and the impact it had on the men, women and children of the early twentieth century is fascinating and rings true. "The men who'd marched away wren't the only ones who'd suffered. She'd lost a brother at Bullecourt, Mum to heartbreak, Dad to the influenza brought back by the soliders. Her older brother was off with cattle, fleeing his memories. The boy she loved had come back a man she hardly knew." "Even the war had been impossible. A whole generation of men couldn't just march away with bagpipes playing and children laughing, and a third of them never come home." Sandy and Andy face their own struggles, and while we don't see them firsthand, they are addressed and we see how they affect the returned soldiers and their loved ones. Not only are the problems of returned soldiers addressed, the difficulties faced by women left alone during war are shown and spoken about, and the aftermath is something Flinty's whole valley struggle with. Speaking of Flinty's valley; Jackie French created such a beautiful atmosphere. Flinty's neighbours are a tight-knit community who all look out for each other because that what neighbours do. As well as her community, Flinty's love of her mountain and horses shine via French's descriptions of the Australian bush. It clearly comes from a place of knowledge and love on French's behalf, and gives the book an almost nostalgic feeling, even from someone who has never truly been out bush. The Girl From Snowy River is an atmospheric, character focused book that I would recommend to everyone.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    It’s 1919, seventeen year old Flinty McAlpine lives on her farm as an orphan looking after her younger siblings. With an eviction notice to leave her beloved farm, only the upcoming brumby muster could save her home, family and valley she loves. Flinty McAlpine is the main character in the book and has the opportunity to save everything she loves in the upcoming brumby muster, just like the one thirty years ago with the Man from Snowy River’s famous ride. She has to deal with seeing her loved on It’s 1919, seventeen year old Flinty McAlpine lives on her farm as an orphan looking after her younger siblings. With an eviction notice to leave her beloved farm, only the upcoming brumby muster could save her home, family and valley she loves. Flinty McAlpine is the main character in the book and has the opportunity to save everything she loves in the upcoming brumby muster, just like the one thirty years ago with the Man from Snowy River’s famous ride. She has to deal with seeing her loved ones come back from World War 1 and she has to find a way to survive without the help of them. A highlight for me was the ride for Flinty. Of course, like the title suggests, it is very much like the Man from Snowy River but she does it with style like a girl. I really liked how it had a female as the main character and her doing amazing things like joining a brumby muster and taking care of her family all by herself. She is really inspiring with what she does and shows that girls can do what they want. I didn’t really like all the ‘triggers’ like death of a parent (in the past), PTSD, discussions of war, serious physical injury, racism and attempted rape. It definitely is a book for teens. I would definitely recommend this book to older kids, mostly teens and girls. The strong female main character and the message that comes with it is really nice. Jackie French did a really good job with making a memorable character like Flinty.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Lo

    Genuine Australian historical fiction at its best. I love Jackie French for the warmth and generosity of her characters - and for her attempts as a writer to understand the complexities of history and human behaviour and to explore these complexities with such grace in her work. There are no cardboard villains or two dimensional heroines here! Flinty (Felicity) McAlpine faces the tribulations of World War 1 at home in Australia with courage equal to that of the boys in the trenches of Europe. Wh Genuine Australian historical fiction at its best. I love Jackie French for the warmth and generosity of her characters - and for her attempts as a writer to understand the complexities of history and human behaviour and to explore these complexities with such grace in her work. There are no cardboard villains or two dimensional heroines here! Flinty (Felicity) McAlpine faces the tribulations of World War 1 at home in Australia with courage equal to that of the boys in the trenches of Europe. When Flinty loses her older brother and parents, she struggles with the burden of caring for her siblings, but finds help from a strange man who appears in the mist around the Rock that sits on the edge of her farm. One of the gifts of great art is its capacity to be a school room for the soul. This book helped me to face and process my own experiences of loss and grief by providing a model of dignity in the face of enormous hardship.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sindy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is about war (specifically World War, with a touch of the Vietnam War) and the emotional and physical toll wars leave behind onto those who survive. I think it is because of Jackie French's unwavering and delicate touch on this topic that made me enjoy and appreciate this book. Like 'A Waltz for Matilda', this series is about the strength of young girls and women to rise to the occasion. This book empowers our souls, and reminds us that the women were as heroic and gritty as the men; a This book is about war (specifically World War, with a touch of the Vietnam War) and the emotional and physical toll wars leave behind onto those who survive. I think it is because of Jackie French's unwavering and delicate touch on this topic that made me enjoy and appreciate this book. Like 'A Waltz for Matilda', this series is about the strength of young girls and women to rise to the occasion. This book empowers our souls, and reminds us that the women were as heroic and gritty as the men; and they deeply loved the Australian country, too. There are many worthy quotes; I think this one encapsulates the issue well: "Maybe the world is full of women who do things, she thought, but they're women men don't see, don't write about." But, now, we have writers like Jackie French bringing to us (albeit fictionalized) stories of the women and I am grateful for it. Highly recommend this book and looking forward to the rest of this series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate Russell

    This is a wonderful book, and I was excited to find that it was part of a series, so my TBR pile is once again going to be massive... It tells the story of Felicity ("Flinty") McAlpine, the "girl" from the title. Set just after the First World War, in 1919, 17-year-old Flinty is raising her younger brother and sister on the family farm after the death of her parents. Her two older brothers, Jeff and Andy, both fought in the war, but only Andy returns. Although Andy appears physically sound, he ha This is a wonderful book, and I was excited to find that it was part of a series, so my TBR pile is once again going to be massive... It tells the story of Felicity ("Flinty") McAlpine, the "girl" from the title. Set just after the First World War, in 1919, 17-year-old Flinty is raising her younger brother and sister on the family farm after the death of her parents. Her two older brothers, Jeff and Andy, both fought in the war, but only Andy returns. Although Andy appears physically sound, he has been scarred, mentally and emotionally, by his experiences in the war, and so he leaves Flinty to run the farm while he rides north to go cattle droving. It's a lot for Flinty to deal with, particularly since her sweetheart, Sandy, has also returned a changed man, and she no longer knows if he still cares for her as he once did. Flinty is frustrated that nobody will talk to her about what happened in the war as she wants to understand what happened to the men she loves. So, when she comes across a wheelchair-bound soldier at the Rock near her farm, she decides to ask him what the war was like. But there is something strange about him - and it soon becomes apparent that they are talking about two different wars... The soldier, Nicholas, and Flinty become friends, and she soon begins to rely on him for companionship and advice. And when she needs money to save the farm, Nicholas gives her the courage to do what she needs to do. Flinty faces her many challenges throughout the course of the book with courage and strength. But she's not perfect, which just makes her all the more real. All the characters are beautifully drawn, the story is gripping, and the author's love for the Snowy Mountains and the surrounding country shines through with every sentence. I loved it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This is the second time that I have read this book and the experience was as phenomenal as I remember it to be. With a mixture of love, loss, heartbreak, horses and hope intertwined with beautiful descriptions of mountainous Snowy River scenery makes for a magical story. I like Jackie French's writing as she mixes in bits of real history (in this case WWI) with a fictional story keeping the reader both educated and interested. Jackie French tells the untold story of women in war and the hardship This is the second time that I have read this book and the experience was as phenomenal as I remember it to be. With a mixture of love, loss, heartbreak, horses and hope intertwined with beautiful descriptions of mountainous Snowy River scenery makes for a magical story. I like Jackie French's writing as she mixes in bits of real history (in this case WWI) with a fictional story keeping the reader both educated and interested. Jackie French tells the untold story of women in war and the hardship they went through during and after the war as well. This story had it's share of tragedy but in the end was uplifting and is bound to put a smile on your face!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle

    Another great book by Jackie French. Set after at the end of WWI. A young woman is struggling to make sense of the war: all the young men who died in it, those who died as a result of the war and those who come back from it but can't talk about it or even can't settle back into life. A young but strong woman who fights for life. A woman passionate of horses. Other themes in the book are insight into the Future and how that can give us faith and courage, how aboriginals were treated, their knowledge Another great book by Jackie French. Set after at the end of WWI. A young woman is struggling to make sense of the war: all the young men who died in it, those who died as a result of the war and those who come back from it but can't talk about it or even can't settle back into life. A young but strong woman who fights for life. A woman passionate of horses. Other themes in the book are insight into the Future and how that can give us faith and courage, how aboriginals were treated, their knowledge of plants medicine. How women were treated at the time...

  15. 4 out of 5

    BlueSky

    Thoroughly enjoyed my first read by Jackie French! Due to the quality of writing, it was easy to slip into post World War 1 Australia and experience the joys and hardships on the land in that era. 'Flinty' McAlpine is a positive role model for the ages - strong, interesting, independent and smart. There's quite a lot going on in this story - war, loss, love, challenges, history, and a tantalising element of the supernatural. The conclusion thankfully resists being fairy tale perfect yet still ma Thoroughly enjoyed my first read by Jackie French! Due to the quality of writing, it was easy to slip into post World War 1 Australia and experience the joys and hardships on the land in that era. 'Flinty' McAlpine is a positive role model for the ages - strong, interesting, independent and smart. There's quite a lot going on in this story - war, loss, love, challenges, history, and a tantalising element of the supernatural. The conclusion thankfully resists being fairy tale perfect yet still manages to be satisfying, addressing all of the issues raised. Recommended!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I really enjoy how Jackie French incorporates the history of Australia into her stories. The difficulties for the women coping as their men go to war and the aftermath as they return, or don’t, is gently pointed out. This is no way diminishes what the men suffer and how they come out of it afterwards. The love of the mountains shines through as does the way of life in those times with neighbours helping neighbours. A great history lesson for kids.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kerryn Taylor

    Jackie French brings her characters to life in this novel set around the effects of WW1 on rural Australia, its people, and their trials and tribulations. The descriptions of Snowy Mountains scenery and a wild brumby muster are a masterpiece. You feel like you know the characters all personally and can relate to their joys and anguish. This story adds a different, but fascinating tilt by introducing a ghost from the future.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Patch

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't enjoy this as much as 'A Waltz for Matilda and I found the time travel aspect a little unnecessary but still thoroughly enjoyed French's extensive historical research and knowledge. The intertextual references with 'A waltz for Matilda' were a unique and deftly executed extra detail.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Raven Gravenor

    I love it. there should be more like it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    So heartwarming.

  21. 5 out of 5

    abby

    It was such a beautiful love story with a sweet ending.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Norah Cullerne

    An excellent book. Portrays life during and after WW1 beautifully and also a womans lot

  23. 4 out of 5

    Edith

    Loved this book, another brilliant read from Jackie French.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    No better way to end the year than re-reading this book yet again!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siwa

    Captivating!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jo Hastings

    Fantastic read, French never disapoints

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    It's funny, if I was asked the question "Do you like to read historical fiction?" My immediate answer would be no, but put a Jackie French historical novel in may hands and I just can't put it down. I am mostly preaching to the converted I am sure, when I say that Jackie French has a real way with making history readable. I won’t go too much into what the story is about, because the blurb above does a good job of that. I will tell you how this book made me feel. In a nutshell it made me feel lu It's funny, if I was asked the question "Do you like to read historical fiction?" My immediate answer would be no, but put a Jackie French historical novel in may hands and I just can't put it down. I am mostly preaching to the converted I am sure, when I say that Jackie French has a real way with making history readable. I won’t go too much into what the story is about, because the blurb above does a good job of that. I will tell you how this book made me feel. In a nutshell it made me feel lucky and proud, even though this book isn’t really about war it is about how the war affected our country and our people. Flinty lost a brother in the war, and the brother that did come back, did so for only a short time before he left for work in Queensland. Both of her parents died while her brothers were are away, so Flinty, only 19 (and a woman) is the head of the household, looking after her two younger siblings, keeping the property running and making sure they have food on the table. Flinty is courageous and determined, and it’s these attributes that lead her to take the path most would avoid. If she has to do a man’s job to get what she needs, then that is what she will do. We should all walk a day in Flinty’s shoes when we think our life is tough. There is also an element of the ghostly and supernatural in the story. Flinty meets a wounded soldier in a bathchair (wheelchair), but his is unusually made of metal, he was injured in the war, but his war was in 1969. Nicholas is from the future, he was sent to the rock to meet the ghost of Flinty McAlpine. Only Flinty can see Nicholas and only Nicholas can see Flinty, they can only meet at the rock, and only in the mist. This aspect of the story may seem far fetched and incongruous, but it works. Their friendship is what they both need to help them get through some very tough times. With my head being all about the Australian National Curriculum, I immediately thought about where it might fit. It could be used in Year 9 (Students investigate key aspects of World War I and the Australian experience of the war, including the nature and significance of the war in world and Australian history). There’s one aspect of the story that pushes the readership up slightly, and that’s when Flinty is attacked by a returned soldier, it is not said in so many words that he tries to rape her, but that was undoubtedly his intention. It is just something to keep in mind when recommending the book. This book is absolutely a stand alone novel, in fact I didn't know there was a 'Matilda Saga' until I read the blurb for this one. There is some information about the timeline of the Matilda books in the back, A Waltz For Matilda (1894-1915), A Rose for the Anzac Boys (1915-1920) and this one (1919-1926), there will be another three books to come covering the years 1932-1972, with the last book being set in 1969-72, where we will meet again the wounded Vietnam veteran, Nicholas, who Flinty meets on the rock in this story. There’s also historical notes at the back of the book, including the poems The Man From Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow. There’s a bit about the role of women in the 1920s, native plants used in the book, catching brumbies and the Men from Snowy River March. To me this book has elements of Little Women and What Katy Did to it, while at the same time being uniquely Australian. I seriously doubt that there will be any young girls who could resist this story, there’s drama, history and romance and rolled into a great read that I couldn’t put down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Penny Reeve

    Another great book from Jackie French. I really appreciated the way this one tackled the effects of war on communities back home (in Australia), without weighing down the narrative. A moving, lovely book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eugenia (Genie In A Book)

    Jackie French's novels never fail to impress and amaze me, and this instance is no exception. The Girl From Snowy River is the second book in the Matilda saga, and covers the life of Flinty McAlpine from the years 1919-1926. Now an orphan, and with a brother lost from the war, Flinty takes care of her two younger siblings on her own. The war has changed the valley, and she asks the question: What was war really like? What vast crack had buried Jeff down in the mud, had sent Andy off with cattle? Jackie French's novels never fail to impress and amaze me, and this instance is no exception. The Girl From Snowy River is the second book in the Matilda saga, and covers the life of Flinty McAlpine from the years 1919-1926. Now an orphan, and with a brother lost from the war, Flinty takes care of her two younger siblings on her own. The war has changed the valley, and she asks the question: What was war really like? What vast crack had buried Jeff down in the mud, had sent Andy off with cattle? What had changed her best friend so much he could barely look at her now? Once she meets the ghost Nicholas from 1969 on the Rock, Flinty learns a little about what life was like during war and what the soldiers had to go through, even a glimpse into what hers will bring. Maybe everyone is crazy up in these mountains. Maybe the air up here makes you absurd, the scent of flowers and rock and snow. And I've never spoken like that to anyone in my life before. You're my only friend here, you know that? And you're fifty years away. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a paranormal or supernatural story, as this aspect is only a tiny snippet of a much larger picture. *Plot/Characters/Setting* This wonderful work of Australian historical fiction does a great job of weaving in the famous poem that the title is derived from. Flinty's story is amazing, as she soldiers on through life and tries her best to take care of those she can - even when she has struggles to face of her own. Just like Matilda was in the first novel, Flinty is another strong female heroin who proves herself as being just as good a rider as any man. You're a heroine, Flinty McAlpine. I reckon you can do anything you set your mind to. It was also a nice touch to make reference to Matilda, who we met in the previous novel. Her life has now progressed and she is a successful woman. The setting in the valley is picturesque and beautifully described, and the writing style in general is once again perfect. The heartfelt and lovely quotes one can find in this book are endless, and makes it a joy to read. CONCLUSION This is another stunning novel from renowned author Jackie French. This series focuses on the strength of women and how much they did in hard times and during the war. I very much look forward to the next novels in the saga, and am sure that they will be just as good as this. I would definitely recommend this to fans of historical fiction (particularly Australian) and anyone who is looking for a novel with writing of the highest quality. With life came loss. The war and the years since had taught her that. There's be sadness in her life to come, as well as happiness. Even the most blessed lives had both. She'd live them as they came.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kat Ashworth

    Exciting and insightful story. Beautifully written.

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