Books and Movies Reviews

Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beatie Bow, by Ruth Park is a gripping novel that highlights the distinct differences of values, morals and behaviour in people between two periods of time. Playing Beatie Bow is not only set in 1973, but also 1873, a century earlier. This is possible by the main character, Abigail, being transported back in time. Abigail finds herself in a completely different place, which is actually the Colony of New South Wales. The novel focuses on comparing life, love, and morals to show how they were like in the past and how they were in the future.
Abigail finds herself linked to the past by a crocheted dress and is dragged into 1873. She is adopted by the Bow family and is seen as "The Stranger". "You are the stranger, there is nae possibility of mistake.", p 105, demonstrates how positive Mrs. Tallisker is towards Abigail being the stranger. She explains to Abigail how one person will die in their family. Abigail saves Gibbie from dying in a fire and returns to her own time where she discovers that the one she loved, Judah, was the one to die.
Abigail is a person whose personality and character matures over time. When Abigail (Lynette) isfirst introduced to us, we see her as an arrogant and selfish person; "I don't really care for people much.", p 18. She has a brown face with deep coffee-black eyes. She is described as flat as a board and quite narrow. Abigail was known in the family as a clever student, a reserved girl and a self-contained individual. Outside, she was dependent and not very much liked. She despised love; "She felt wiser than this love-mad rabble in her class.", p 4. When Abigail travels backwards in time, she finds that she is in a place foreign to her. After watching the foreign people live their lives with purpose, loving each other and loving life for what it is, she realises how selfish she has been. Her "out of time" experience has taught her many thi…

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