A Tear in the Soul by Amanda Webster

Reviewed by
December 2016, no. 387
Rachel Robertson reviews 'A Tear in the Soul' by Amanda Webster

A Tear in the Soul

by Amanda Webster

NewSouth $29.99 pb, 288 pp, 9781742235134

A Tear in the Soul by Amanda Webster

Reviewed by
December 2016, no. 387

A Tear in the Soul is a fine example of creative non-fiction that unfolds a personal story but also advances our knowledge of Australian society, past and present. It is a nuanced contribution to the growing body of literature in which contemporary non-Indigenous Australians attempt to make sense of the history of white settlement and take responsibility for our own complicity in the past and current treatment of Indigenous peoples. In combining a personal quest to reconnect to her past with an exploration of 1960s Kalgoorlie and a moral self-examination, Webster has written a book in which story and idea interweave to engage and move us, even while we are forced to confront disturbing material.

Webster was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, her father and grandfather both local doctors. When she started school in the 1960s, she met Aboriginal children from the nearby Kurrawang Mission, who, she assumed, were orphans happily living in a caring community. She became particularly friendly with Bronwyn, who spent a summer holiday with Webster’s family in Esperance, and took a shine to a boy called Tony. Forty years later, a discussion with colleagues triggers a return to Western Australia to track down her friends. She is able to find them only after meeting Gregory Ugle, Tony’s brother, who has self-published a story about his years at Kurrawang.

Rachel Robertson reviews 'A Tear in the Soul' by Amanda Webster

A Tear in the Soul

by Amanda Webster

NewSouth $29.99 pb, 288 pp, 9781742235134

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

comment (1)

  • Yes Amanda thank you so much you not only a friend and a soul mate sister of mine without you friendship I couldn't been another person in life and a great thank you to your family for taking on those holiday a long time ago love Bronny
    Posted by Bronwyn
    Thursday, 08 December 2016 01:37

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.