Monday, February 8, 2016

"After Darkness" by Christine Piper

This is the first book I have read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2016. I chose to read it as it was given a 5 star recommendation on the Book Lover Book Reviews blog:

This book reminds me in style, quality and similar subject matter/themes to some of Bryce Courtenay's work (but a much shorter book than most of Courtenay's massive novels). I felt a real disappointment and loss when Bryce Courtenay died as the realisation that he wouldn't be writing any more awesome stories for me to read sunk in as I have thoroughly enjoyed and been caught up in many of his books. I'm feeling very impressed and feel a new hope after reading this book that this new Aussie author could potentially take over where Bryce Courtenay left off. I hope Christine Piper becomes as prolific and consistently awesome an author as Courtenay in the years ahead.

This book "After darkness" alternates between 3 locations and times: Early 1930s in Japan, late 1930s in Broome, Western Australia, and during the Second World War in the Loveday internment camp in South Australia. The main character Dr Ibaraki is a reserved, discreet Japanese medical doctor with a background in medical research. He moves to Broome to become head of a small hospital in the Pearl diving community in order to escape some events in his past which are slowly revealed as the novel progresses. He's then arrested and put in a prison camp in Australia during WW2 due to his Japanese background. I didn't know a lot about the prison camps in Australia during the Second World War, so it was a bit of an eye-opener for me to read a novel based on a bit of our history that isn't widely spoken about now. It also highlights the unfortunate timelessness of many of the issues of racial discrimination, conflict of ethics, and loyalty that are faced by many, even if the focus or details change with the decades.

Started reading: 6th February 2016.
Finished reading: 8th February 2016.
My score: 8/10

Aussie Author Challenge Stats: Female Author, New to me, WW2/historical fiction genre.


  1. I am so pleased you had the opportunity to read this title! I share your hope that Piper's talent gains the recognition and commercial success it deserves.

    1. Thanks for recommending her book on your site, that's what prompted me to read it. I really enjoyed it. :-)