The Bone Sparrow reviewed by Vivian


Born in an Australian detention centre, Subhi lives in a tent with his mother and sister, Queeny. They escaped their worn-torn country only to find themselves living behind a fence with all chance of hope slowly draining away.

Subhi doesn’t know any other kind of life. The people living in the tents are his family and he thrives on the stories told by these people of life beyond the fence. Then one night he meets Jimmie. She somehow has found a way in to the centre through a small gap in the fence. They become friends and each night Jimmie sneaks in with her mother’s book of stories. The book was one of the few things Jimmie managed to salvage after her mum passed away. As Jimmie can’t read, Subhi reads the stories to her. But things all come crashing down and Subhi finds himself in the middle of it all.

This book certainly opens your eyes to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. I often felt like I was reading the story of someone living in a concentration camp and had to remind myself that this was happening in Australia. At times it seems that as a human race we haven’t evolved. Certainly the treatment of refugees needs to be addressed. A poignant and timely novel.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *