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Showing posts from October 16, 2010

Rosalie's Reward, a fairytale in a gold rush town setting

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This is  a gem,' said the librarian at the State Library as she hands it to me ... and I am inclined to agree. ‘Rosalie’s Reward’ begins with a poetic description of Ballaarat that evokes both mood and time. The house that the impoverished mother and child come to live in stands in ‘gloomy silence’ while the sounds of mining are clear and eerily evocative.  
‘Shrill whistle heard so clearly in the silence that called the miners to midnight toil.’ The resurrected English style cottage garden is the perfect place for a group of fairies that the reader doesn't meet until page six of the story.  There is an energetic discussion by the fairy folk about what is prized more as a reward: beauty or gold. Not surprisingly, in a gold mining town, it is gold. Rosalie’s reward for her kindness to the fairies is being left a fortune by the dying gold miner who owns the cottage. He fortunately arrives at the cottage hours before his death to bestow on Rosalie a golden future in Melbourne.  The…