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It took me a long time to get through this book. At the same time that I started Joan-makes-historyreading it, I also started a new job. I can’t say for certain if it was the books fault, or adjusting to a new routine that made this one so slow going.

It was a very different kind of book. I have had it sitting on my shelf for the longest time. Originally I bought it as it was required reading for a course that I started but never completed. I feel that in relation to the course I was doing it would have been a suitable story but perhaps didn’t translate as well to poolside reading.

Putting aside my comments above, I did think it was quite a clever book. Whilst learning the story of Joan’s ‘current life’ we also dart in to side stories of lives past and her personal experiences of significant moments in Australian history.

The milestones in Joan’s current life tend to match up with a similar experience in the past. She takes us through famous historical events such as Captain Cook arriving in Australia in 1770, photographing infamous Ned Kelly in 1878 and the day Australia became a self-governing nation in 1901. Her stories of these events tell us the small and more personal details that didn’t quite make it in to the pages of history books.

Her mission in every one of her lives is to make a difference, make history. Her lesson shows us how whilst all contributing at the time, some are written in to history and subsequently, some are written out. In the end, wether documented for people to see or not, we all make history.

All in all it is not a bad little book, but you would definitely need to pick the right time to read it. Read it when you have time to sit with a clear mind and concentrate. If you’re picking it up as a light read to browse in a noisy crowded area, you would be wasting your time. You would not be in the right environment to appreciate it.

Have you read it? Let me know what you think..