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Heritage starsAs a West Australian girl born and bred the construction of the NSW based Snowy Mountains scheme to bring hydroelectricity to the region from the late 1940’s through to the early 1970’s seems to have escaped my attention One of Australia’s best known storytellers Judy Nunn ensures that this pivotal engineering project is not lost in the history booksFollowing the devastating effects of World War II many refugees decided they needed a new future abroad leading them to seek opportunities offered by countries such as Australia From all corners of the globe these displaced people came to the land down under answering the call for labour after Australia suffered a skills shortage following the war One of Australia’s largest construction and engineering projects that commenced soon after the war was the Snowy Mountains based hydro electric scheme Work on the construction of the various tunnels pipelines and aueducts was dangerous back breaking but fundamental to Australia Heritage is a grand narrative and a true testament to the colourful cultures that came together to produce this amazing engineering featHeritage is the ninth novel I have read by an author I admire Judy Nunn The tried and tested formula of Nunn’s historically based Australian fiction sagas just seems to work every time I am always astounded by the extent of research and detail Nunn puts into each of her novels Heritage which was published back in 2005 is no exception It just seems a shame I waited this long to read HeritageI feel uite embarrassed that as an Australian I did not know anything about the Snowy Mountains scheme until I read Nunn’s book However through the experience of reading Heritage I was able to develop an appreciation for the many years of hard work that went into the construction of this engineering enigma As with many of Nunn’s books I always feel the urge to visit the site of the focus of her novels and Heritage was a book that ensured that I placed the Snowy Mountains region as a must see siteCombined within this accessible history of Australia’s largest construction scheme Heritage is the story of a small collection of characters that come from varying areas of the globe to Cooma the main site of the hydro scheme Nunn’s exploration of her core characters such as Lucky Pietro and Ruth provides the reader with an insight into the cosmopolitan nature of the Cooma site during the years of the scheme Nunn’s characters all have interesting complex and varying personal histories She is able to give a good cross section of experiences of post World War II life from Italy to Israel and Germany Each of these experiences is individualised and is drawn from the myriad of real life migrant stories to come out of the construction of the scheme Perhaps the story that struck a chord with me the most was the Holocaust aspects and one of the main players of the novel Ruth’s experiences Nunn handles these aspects of the novel with historical insight and a sense of sentimentality that moved me almost to tears All these stories compounded well with the exception of a few coincidencesHeritage is novel that is grand in scale and purpose I believe Nunn succeeds in bringing the reader a historically grounded book that intertwines the fascinating and colourful personal stories of the pioneering engineers of the hydro electric scheme Heritage also offers a solid portrait of the post World War II period in Australia with many of these feelings expressed in the novel felt across the world Heritage is another winner from top Australian storyteller Judy Nunn Oh my God This book had all the feels The premise of the story interested me due to the links with my own family history After the initial hook I found the book a bit slow to start and full of exposition but that proved necessary to prevent confusion later on Within a few chapters I could not put the book down I immensely enjoyed the Australian setting and the links to Europe and the war provided by the main characters It was very well researched providing a sense of history and mystery along the way revealing key points bit by bit Certain moments had my mouth hit the floor certainly in hindsight a little too coincidental but at the time of reading absolutely shocking The climax was both thrilling and heartbreaking and the resolution while not wrapped in a neat bow left a smile on my face I grew up watching Judy Nunn as Ailsa in Home and Away and knew that she had left that career for that of a novelist boy can she write I loved this book looking forward to reading of her work 5 stars if for nothing else because I could not put it down I found myself uestioning when this book started given that the blurb on the back talked about the Snowy Mountains but the story soon grabbed me and did not let go The plot moved through some twists to turns some of which were a little obvious to me and others which were not and utterly shocked me The climax was rather well done but I would have preferred the resolution to have been twice as long again I am consistently surprised with this authors work and I must read of it ‘They came to change the course of a river and changed the course of their lives’After World War II in the early 1950s migrants from over many different countries came to Australia to work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme Their destination was the town of Cooma New South Wales which was central to the Snowy Scheme This novel explores the stories of a number of different characters from their lives in Berlin Israel Argentina and the Italian Alps to Australia where their stories all converge in Cooma Amongst the migrants there are some seeking to bury the past and others who need to remember it Not all of the Australians welcomed the strangers even though the Snowy Scheme could not have been built without them The cultural clashes are well depicted in this novel as are the dislocations caused by war and emigration‘Here we are all Snowy men’I enjoyed this novel even though I had some difficulty accepting the number of coincidences that occurred setting up connections between characters and events from their pasts Still given the breadth of the story Ms Nunn was trying to cover these coincidences were probably the best way to keep the number of characters manageable Their stories are representative of many over 70% of the people who worked on the Snowy Scheme were migrants While up to 7300 worked on the Snowy Scheme at any one time over 100000 people worked on the Scheme over 25 years I was drawn to this novel by the setting The building of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme which took from 1949 to 1974 is the largest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia It is considered to be one of the largest and most complex hydro electric schemes in the world I spend a lot of time in the area around Lake Eucumbene the largest dam in the scheme and am familiar with the drowning of ‘Old’ Adaminaby in 1957 – the town was moved to make way for Lake EucumbeneJennifer Cameron Smith I’m so so with this one A l o n g story At times I was lost as to what was happening I thought it was different stories for a minute I tried to give up but i find it hard not to follow through with things The only thing that made me follow through was that my father in law is Italian and worked on the snowy hydro scheme I pictured Nonno who we sadly lost last year I have pictures of him and other workers inside the tunnels on my wall I wanted to finish the love story and see where they ended up Im proud of me for sticking with it love to read about Australia especially the Snowy River Project It took me until about half way through the book to start really getting into it and then by the end I couldn't put it down I love the backdrop for the story and visiting all the different countries From the ruins of Berlin to the birth of Israel from the Italian Alps to the Australian high country Heritage is a passionate and fast paced tale of rebirth struggle sacrifice and redemption and a tribute to those who gave meaning to the Australian spirit I love Judy Nunn’s books normally But I was very disturbed reading HERITAGE; with the History what the Germans had done She’s a great Author It’s just the book wasn’t for me And although it upset me so I still continued reading it to the end I had to know what happened to the Characters I was a child and teenager in the time of power dams in NZ and in the area there were so many refugees from the war and our friendship was international as the family had children when came this has given me great memories this book and so important as historic in the Australian times Stories and such diversity of characters came for freedom and the chance earn put their skills to use it to start a life just as was in the British Australian and Nz prejudge was everywhere the Germans had been the enemy the friendship develope as Men worked together but in Society this story explains so often how red neck people were it is descriptive associative with the time foreigners felt so blessed to have chance and took so much and they loved the outbackUnexpected happenings people come back from the dead their experiences so different it has altered their thinking and relationships cannot go back Germany or nazis were able to hide in new countries and the world opened up for society in the younger generations just as opened the land Judy nunn great writer is she not

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