2nd Tuesday Evening Book Group


Empire Day by Diane Armstrong

Group Comments

The book was easy to read and gave a good picture of life in the late 1940’s in Sydney. The issues that refugees face on arriving in a new country are universal and are still confronting individuals and society. Because of the multitude of characters, there were lots of subplots and so was not as in depth as it could have been. In many cases, the characters are quite stereotypical.

The kind of lifestyles depicted resonated with several members, whether through location (having lived in Bondi Junction) or having a refugee experience/ background, themselves.

Empire Day- Diane Armstrong

 Sarah P’s pick

This book covers a year on a street in Bondi. It is 1948 and the street, as well as Australia, is being transformed by the arrival of refugees from Europe. It starts with bonfires and crackers to celebrate Empire Day. The Australian born families enjoy the communal atmosphere and fireworks while the sounds and smells trigger bad memories for the survivors of war. Continue reading