Mazin Grace by Dylan Coleman

Mazin GraceI love my ereader. I love that I can carry so many books on one small device. I love that I don’t have to struggle to hold open a big, heavy book. However, there are some books that are better read in physical form and Mazin Grace was one of them.

Mazin Grace is a fictionalised account of the childhood of Dylan Coleman’s mother. Grace grows up on a Mission in South Australia. She is smart, feisty, stubborn and the daughter of an unknown caucasion father and Aboriginal mother, rendering her an outcast in both the Aboriginal and white communities. While she is surrounded by a loving extended family, she is also bullied for being a ‘bastard’ and spends much of the novel trying to discover who she is and who her father is. This is quite a beautiful and sad tail which gives insight into attitudes amongst Missions in the 1940’s and 50’s. It’s the type of novel every Australian should read as it provides us with a better understanding of our history.

Now to why you shouldn’t read this with an ereader. The book is written in a combination of English and Kokatha. There is a glossary at the beginning of the book, however, if you have an ereader, it’s extremely time-consuming to move back and forth through the book several times a page. In the end, I just guessed the word from the context and I think I managed to decipher it quite well. It does take some getting used to but I think the combined language adds to the narrative voice in the story.

Overall it was a good read.