Summer holidays ... Christmas Day .. another Di Morrisey novel .. easy chicklit reading. Easy to dismiss.
However underneath these seductive and compelling easy reads, there seem to be almost sublimal messages. Raising questions of politics, ambition, big business, power, greed, environmental destruction, crushing of Indigenous heritage and values by conventional vested interests. And always there is the heroine, sometimes cast adrift by life's circumstances and at a cross roads. Facing contemporary issues, finding her voice.
Morissey's novel are often meticulously researched ... all communicated in a light non academic style, and thus reaching a huge mass market.
Monsoon - tackling Australia's involvement in Vietnam - of the regular soldiers and conscripts - denied legitimacy by the RSL's as it was not an official war. And yet it ran far longer than previous conflicts - Boer War, WWI, WWII, Malayan Emergency and Korean War. There were casualties - 521 deaths and over 3000 wounded.
It was a divisive time where the moral control exerted by the RSL and conservatives began to be seriously questioned with anticonscription protesters.
Morrisey's novel respects both views - the Vietnam Vet and the antiwar protesters, which is in tune with today's perspective - softened by 30 years travelled since the conflict. It provides a sympathetic treatment of those on different sides of the American War in Vietnam.
She also addresses the challenges of the returning Vietnamese and those of mixed racial parentage - how they are viewed by local Vietnamese.
Also giving a voice to those soldiers and their families struggling with post combat traumatic syndrome issues - faced in all contacts but all too often buried.
And also the tensions in Vietnam as it progresses through Doi Moi.
It seems that Morrisey tackles some controversial areas in her easily dismissed chicklit genre.
2 weeks ago