Wednesday 15 December 2021

Martin, Catherine "The Incredible Journey"

Martin, Catherine "The Incredible Journey" - 1923

This has been on my wish list for ages and then on my TBR pile for a while. But I am trying to diminish my pile and also to read all my classic books, so it was finally time for this novel.

I had heard of a story where children walk back through half of Australia to their parents ("Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Doris Pilkington, I believe) but not of this one. But it carries more or less the same message. A child gets taken away from its mother and she walks all the way through Australia, through the desert, along dangerous areas, escapes evil men, all to get her son back.

A good story, well told. And its most important message, all human beings feel the same, there are none that are "like animals". And who wants to tell us that animals have no feelings, either? A story that should make us think that we should treat all human beings the same!

From the back cover:

"First published in 1923, The Incredible Journey tells the story of Iliapa, an Aboriginal woman, who embarks on a long, arduous journey through the Australian outback in search of her son after he is abducted by a white man. Catherine Martin said that she wrote this novel 'in order to put on record, as faithfully as possible, the heroic love and devotion of a black woman when robbed of her child'.

The novel presents a vivid picture of the Aboriginal people (viewed through the eyes of a white novelist), their culture, their dispossession and, in particular, this abhorrent white practice of taking Aboriginal children away from their parents.


  1. I haven't read this one, but I did read Rabbit-Proof Fence. Such heartbreaking stories in these kinds of books. We do need to treat all people better!

    1. You are right, Lark. I don't understand why people think they can do something like that to another human being. We are all the same and nobody should be put down for any reason.

  2. I will, Rajani. Did you read this book? Where do I find the review?