Review: The Plantation by Di Morrissey
When Australian Julie Reagan discovers a book written about wild Malaysia in the 1970s, she decides to find out more about the author, her great aunt. Why did her grandmother refuse to speak about her sister who disappeared from the family 60 years before? What caused such a severe rift?
Julie is invited to stay with her cousins who run the plantation founded by her great grandfather in Malaya a hundred years ago, and she decides to visit in the hope of finding clues to this family mystery. What Julie finds sends her spiralling through generations of loves, deaths, tragedy and the challenges of the present until she discovers her grandmother's shocking secret.
Born 18 March 1948 in Wingham, New South Wales, Di is one of Australia's most popular female novelists. She grew up in the remote surrounds of Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia. Growing up she counted famous Australian actor Chips Rafferty as a close mentor and friend who helped provide for her and her mother after the death of her father as a child, sending them overseas to California to live with family.
In her later years, Di went on to become a journalist on London's Fleet Street, and worked for CBS in Honolulu, where she lived with her husband who was in the foreign service. After moving back to Australia, Di published her first book 'Heart of the Dreaming' which instantly became a bestseller. Since then Di has published another 18 bestsellers.
I am a sucker for drama, and The Plantation delivers plenty. This books takes you from modern day Australia back to Malaysia, before, during and after World War 2. It tells the story of an Australian girl who becomes determined to discover her ancestors and slowly unearths and discovers her families secrets, secrets that have long been forgotten. What I liked best about this book was that it has closure. There is nothing worse then reading an epic and feeling like you still have many unanswered questions.