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26 November 2006 @ 06:35 pm
julia, my sister  

Author: Bronwyn Blake

At the end of her Year 10, Julia Kelly, gifted music scholarship student at Killian Grammar School, Melbourne, is badly burned in a car crash. Severely traumatised by shocking burns and the loss of a rising career as a pianist, Julia attempts to cope by sending the scarred Julia to an imaginary place in the Simpson Desert, while retaining as herself, the undamaged 'Kate'.
The first part of 'Julia, my Sister' focuses on the internal relationship between Julia and 'Kate', the imagined desert ghost town on the Old Ghan railway and the effect that Julia's behaviour has on her parents and her and close friends, Ned and Danica.

Julia spends most of Year 11 at home or in hospital recovering. She becomes obsessed with the Orpheus and Eurydice myth and writes a sixteen part Song Cycle based on this in an effort to reintegrate Julia and 'Kate' and to reinvent herself as a composer. In her determination not to become a victim, she seeks to 'change the ending' of the myth, (Orpheus' destiny and death).
Julia's closest friend, Danica, from a tiny wheat town in Central Victoria, is also a scholarship student and fellow boarder. Danica works as a cleaner at the Royal Children's Hospital during the summer holidays while Julia is an inpatient. Both of them return to Killian Grammar for Year 12; Julia, following face reconstructive surgery.
Julia realises she must regain charge of her dramatically changed life, and develop internal resilience to face the VCE exams, her future, her changing relationship with Ned, and her struggle to compose contemporary Australian music to her exacting standards.
The libretto (16 poems) for the Song Cycle, 'Eurydice, my Sister' are presented in 'Julia, my Sister' as a VCE performance within the context of the book.
My sister, Eurydice, has blue, blue eyes.
In them I find the deep, the hidden waters of her desolate place,
dark sapphires suddenly discovered.
She has watched, with her far blue eyes,
the edges of the sky, the circling passages of the plain,
the sun and night stars, and keeps within herself,
the understanding of them.
Rating: 9
Thoughts: It may or may not make you cry, but I did. For sure.