Our Guest Reviewer for April Is Nicole Marshall, Marketing Officer for Raising Literacy Australia.
Nicole has recently read Arkie’s Pilgrimage to The Next Big Thing, one of our Featured Books for April 2015
Just when Arkie is about to throw in the towel, by throwing herself in front of a train, a mysterious Japanese woman gives her hope and forces her to reconsider. The two trend setters form an unlikely friendship and embark on a uniquely Australian pilgrimage to visit as many ‘big things’ as possible (the big banana, big macadamia etc). Along the way they meet colourful characters and coordinate cheeky escapes from Arkie’s divorce lawyer who is trying to serve her papers.
While the plot does seem a bit far-fetched (lots of people turning up at just the right moment!), ultimately the story is about lost love and having the courage get it back, no matter what it takes. It was also a very nostalgic read for myself; as a young child we visited many ‘big things’ on our family holidays and I have some wonderful memories of time spent with my family discovering some of the more unconventional landmarks that our country has to offer.
With shades of a rom-com movie, this is a book that will strike a chord with readers of all ages and reading abilities. I can definitely see this book turning into the next Aussie cult film (think Muriel’s Wedding!)
I give Arkie’s Pilgrimage to The Next Big Thing 3 stars /∗∗∗