BOOK REVIEW: The Truth About Peacock Blue by Rosanne Hawke
Review by student: Charlotte Kowald
‘The Truth About Peacock Blue’ by local author Rosanne Hawke tells the story of Aster, a Christian girl living in Pakistan. When her older brother dies, Aster is sent to a Muslim high school as the ‘hope of the family.’ Her being Christian in a Muslim community does not agree with some of the students and teachers there. One particular teacher is making life even more difficult for Aster, determined to either convert her religion or get rid of her. After not very long, Aster is accused of blasphemy by her teacher and she is arrested. Meanwhile, in Australia, Aster’s cousin Maryam is writing a blog about what Aster is going through in an effort to help out. This is a dangerous move, and many people online disagree with Maryam, but she is willing to do anything to bring about change.
I’ve read most of Rosanne Hawke’s books, and this is definitely one of my favourites. It was a really engaging book, covering topics that I personally haven’t read much about. One of the things that I found the most interesting was Maryam’s blog. Those particular pages in the book showed not only her blog posts but also the comments. The comments showed the general public’s reception to what Maryam was writing, giving more perspective to the events of the book than just what one or two people were seeing. There were also sections in the book written as if they were Facebook conversations, which I found equally as interesting. When Aster could do nothing about her situation, you still had an idea of what everyone else was doing to try and help.
Towards the end of the book, the storytelling by Aster became more vague. While this could be a complaint with the book, I’m sure that it was intentional as I believe it added to the character and the situation. My only issue is with the ending. I would have liked a little more resolution than what we were given and while the ending is hopeful, I wouldn’t say that is much of a conclusion. This again, is probably intentional but in light of everything that Aster went through in the book I feel like the character deserved a bit more. Otherwise, ‘The Truth About Peacock Blue’ is very relevant to the issues in our world today and is a wonderful story that is definitely worth reading.