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The Choke #2020

The Choke A mesmerising harrowing and ultimately uplifting novel from the Miles Franklin winner Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile father who keeps dangerou

  • Title: The Choke
  • Author: Sofie Laguna
  • ISBN: 9781760297244
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Choke By Sofie Laguna, A mesmerising, harrowing and ultimately uplifting novel from the 2015 Miles Franklin winner.Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile father who keeps dangerous secrets, Justine is raised solely by her Pop, an old man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway Justine finds sanctuary in Pop s chooks and The Choke, where the banks ofA mesmerising, harrowing and ultimately uplifting novel from the 2015 Miles Franklin winner.Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile father who keeps dangerous secrets, Justine is raised solely by her Pop, an old man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway Justine finds sanctuary in Pop s chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow they can almost touch a place of staggering natural beauty that is both a source of peace and danger Although Justine doesn t know it, her father is a menacing criminal and the world she is exposed to is one of great peril to her She has to make sense of it on her own and when she eventually does, she knows what she has to do A brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power, guns and violence, in which grown ups can t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature, The Choke is a compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in deep trouble It once again showcases the Miles Franklin Award winning author as a writer of rare empathy, originality and blazing talent.

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    1 thought on “The Choke

    1. Another heart breaker from this very talented writer It starts very slowly but gradually creeps up on you by the end I was a tearful mess.Sofie Laguna writes about children you want to run out and adopt In The Eye of the Sheep it was Jimmy, a delightful little boy with Asperger s Syndrome In The Choke it is Justine, a child who is basically overlooked and neglected, a girl who is raised by men with major issues of their own and who consequently has no idea about life and its hazards She is an ac [...]

    2. Justine was abandoned by her mother when she was only a small child It was her Pop who came to her rescue and raised Justine on his own On the odd occasion her father would visit Her father was a man who kept dark and dangerous secrets and it was a good thing that Justine was not in his care Pop was an old man who d been through the war and survived it, but to this day visions of the Burma Railway still haunts him To escape into another world, Justine enjoyed spending time with Pop s chooks and [...]

    3. Justine lived with her Pop as her father, Ray, was rarely around Her mother had left when she was three years old having never recovered, both physically and mentally, from Justine s birth Pop s shack near the banks of the Murray River where he and Justine spent their days was barely liveable Pop had survived the war, but his memories of the Burma Railway and his part in the building of it, were forever in his mind Justine had two half brothers Steve and Kirk and while they were young, they spen [...]

    4. mrsbbookreviews.wordpressSofie Laguna, the brilliant Australian author of The Choke, first came to my attention when she won our country s top literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award in 2015, for The Eye of the Sheep It is a book I am yet to read but I am hoping to bring it to my book club as my pick, due to the accolades it has received Sofie Laguna s latest labour of love is a touching and heart wrenching read of a young girl named Justine Lee, living with her grandfather, in close proximity [...]

    5. I found this a dark and depressing story for the most part, albeit a powerful one, as I had a fair idea where it was heading from the start Justine, abandoned by her mother when she was young and rarely visited by her largely absent, shady, womanising father, lives with her grandfather Suffering from PTSD, with recurring nightmares of his WWII experience on the Burma Railway, he does his best to care for Justine but she is nevertheless impoverished and neglected The kids at school avoid her as s [...]

    6. I thought about this book for a couple days before deciding on a rating, it was definitely going to be at least 4 but I have decided to give it 5 stars I feel Sofie Laguna has nailed it, the characters and the setting were so raw and authentic and it s no mean feat to write from the perspective of a child, Justine, who was 10 years old in the first two thirds of the book and 13 and 14 years old for the remainder.We re in the 1970s in country Victoria, Australia, and Justine lives with her grandf [...]

    7. When Michael asked me questions, he waited for my answers He wanted to find out He wouldn t go on until I answered It was the opposite of invisible, The Choke is the third adult novel by award winning Australian author, Sofie Laguna Ten year old Justine Lee has lived with Pop since her mother split when she was just three Pop loves his chooks and the big man John Wayne , loves his White Ox rollies and loves Justine too, but he s haunted by what he experienced in Burma, building the Eastern Bulle [...]

    8. I adored Sofie Laguna s The Eye of the Sheep, published in 2014 so my expectations for her latest book, The Choke, were ridiculously and unachievably high So it s even remarkable that I was not disappointed.Laguna brings the voice of Justine to life with amazing care, craft and unwavering poignancy It s impossible not to fall in love with the 10 year old who believes everything wrong in her life is her own fault for being born backwards Who comes out on their knees Who comes into this world beg [...]

    9. A bleak and difficult book about a young girl growing up surrounded by male violence it s hard going at times, but Justine is a wonderful character and Laguna leaves just enough hope amongst all the brutality.

    10. This beautiful and disturbing read brought flashbacks of The Shiralee, Storm Boy and from this author The Eye of the Sheep The children in these books are being cared for by men who have such dark and difficult backgrounds struggle for existence This author, like in The Eye of the Sheep has once again made the main child character physically challenged with that of dyslexia which goes un noticed until the end of the book This compounds Justine s already poor existence living with her Pop, who in [...]

    11. Sofie Laguna s latest novel for adults, The Choke, is a powerful story about a topic I have particularly strong personal feelings about child neglect A recent paper June 2017 published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies presented a snapshot of data on child protection activity within Australia from 2011 12 through to 2015 16 Bearing in mind that these statistics only show what s reported there s no way of knowing just how many children experience some form of abuse it came as no surpr [...]

    12. Young Justine is a real outsider, poor, dyslexic, abandoned She lives with her Pop who struggles his with demons from WWII Her father comes and goes for months at a time Her mother abandoned her Justine s only friend is a classmate who struggles with a brain injury Laguna can set up a scene, describe people struggling with all sought of challenges and not sway from the tough subjects The story covers revenge, rape and a non caring society This book is very raw.

    13. Down at The Choke the river pushed its way between the banks The river knew the way it wanted to go Past our hide outs, past our ring of stones, past the red gums leaning close enough to touch it flowed forward all the way to the sea This novel is set in the early 1970s, near the fictional town of Nullabri on the Victorian side of the Murray River Our narrator is Justine Lee, aged ten Justine lives with her paternal grandfather, Pop, in poverty on his bush block called Pop s Three on the banks o [...]

    14. This is an incredible and without a doubt one of the most disturbingly stunning books I have ever read I found myself totally and absolutely immersed in the murky and troubled life of the Lees, told through the eyes of Justine The Choke is a powerful and beautifully written novel, set on the banks of the Murray in an era gone by I have no doubt Laguna will receive high acclaim for this fine piece of work, thoroughly deserved It took my breath awayny times.

    15. A book of relationships, beautiful ones and damaged ones Justine and Michael, Justine and Pop, Pop and the chooks I could have read a dozen books about Michael and Justine Part two s dark turn was disturbing and sad, but yet Sofia Laguna tells her story so beautifully that you can t stop reading I can t wait to read by this gifted story teller.

    16. This is the second book I ve read by Sofie Laguna, the first being Eye Of The Sheep Her ability to take difficult POVs this time the voice of a 10, then 13 14 year old dyslexic girl living with her grandfather on a property by the mighty Murray River, and living on the poverty line, just astounds me So very clever to see the adult and child relationships through the filter of Justine s 10 year old ears.In part tragic, predictable, edgy and dark, this made me cry, and very occasionally smile or l [...]

    17. Sofie Laguna has crafted an exceedingly rich and menacing world in The Choke, where the young Justine bears witness to a perpetual cycle of male perpetrated violence, poverty and abuse If this sounds unrelenting, it somehow manages not to be, though it is a tough read at times Justine s delicate yet deeply affecting relationship with her flawed grandafather and the friendship she strikes up with Michael, a disabled boy at her school, are two of the reprieves that Laguna grants us against the oft [...]

    18. This reads like children s literature except for the sexual assault The story telling and the onomatopoeia all felt childish but thenm rape I get that men are terrible but every single adult male in the book is terrible Poor story telling

    19. I can t say the book was enjoyable as it was such a harrowing story making me dread each chapter That said, the author evoked such detail and emotion that I was able to connect to the characters while appreciating her skill as a writer.

    20. I m sitting on a 3 1 2 with this one The characters really engaged me but I felt that the plot has been done before and I m not sure that there was anything really new in this It s a good choice for a book club, plenty to talk about, but not as gripping as Eye of the Sheep.

    21. This was the first book by the award winning, talented Australian author, Sofie Laguna, that I read but I am sure it will not be the last I was deeply touched by this haunting and deftly crafted story of male power, sexism, oppression, neglect, discrimination, and dysfunction and its effects on a vulnerable and undiagnosed dyslexic child, Justine Lee, Jussy Jussy s parents split up when she was three and she lives with her grandfather who has been severely disturbed by his wartime experiences an [...]

    22. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and felt like I was right there It really invoked the feelings pity, respect, anger, love, sadness, it s all there Would totally recommend.

    23. Sofie Laguna was awarded the 2015 Miles Franklin for her novel The Eye of the Sheep, and in this next book The Choke Allen Unwin Books 2017 , she has once again written to her strength of speaking in the voice of a child, and telling the story from the perspective of a child, while still managing to produce a book that is very much for adults The Choke is narrated by 10 year old Justine, a child who has trouble with words reading them, writing them, expressing them, understanding them Justine li [...]

    24. I enjoy reading from this author The eye of the sheep is one of my favourite books of last year Her characters are fantastic I fell in love with Justine The words and descriptions of what and where she is absolutely perfect How Justines sees her inability to read and write is portrayed is just wonderful and heart breaking Her relationship with Michael is such a lovely friendship of assistance and companionship I did read this book with the anticipation throughout that something was going to go t [...]

    25. The Choke by Sophie Laguna is a brilliant book full of emotion, hope, desperation and menace I received my advance copy thanks to a giveaway Justine is ten years old and living on a farm beside the Murray River with her damaged Pop, who hasn t recovered from being a prisoner on the Burma railway He has raised her since she was three when her mother left and her no hoper father took off Pop does his best but Justine misses out on an education and the love and care she needs to properly develop Ju [...]

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