Carole Wilkinson has done it again. She has written a book that sits firmly in her age demographic, weaving fiction and history seamlessly together to create an educational yet entertaining story. Wilkinson is best known for her Dragonkeeper series, set in Ancient China.
After this highly successful series she decided to set her next novel in Australia and use time travel to discover the past. This way she has been able to weave her love of history into the story, enabling the reader to discover what life may have been like when white settlers first came to Australia. Do our history books reflect the true stories of what happened? Can history be changed? Who should take responsibility for what happens in the past?
Nic is an early teen, dealing with a change of home and schools. She moves to country Australia to live on a remote property with her grandfather in the old family homestead. Left on her own, she searches for information about her mother who died when she was born. This novel touches on many things to which teenagers may be able to relate: moving to a new school and making friends, feeling alone, searching for answers, lack of Wi-Fi and adults who don’t understand! There are strong female characters throughout the narrative.
Nic learns she is able to travel back in time and finds out her family history is not without its dark moments. Her family were part of the first group of settlers to live in the area but have the history books told the complete story? Nic discovers a family secret while searching for answers of her own.
Wilkinson is able to weave her story using delightful, descriptive passages while thankfully not overdoing them, so the reader is able to paint their own picture of the story.
Inheritance is a book which could successfully be used in the classroom as a whole class novel or in small groups. It would sit firmly in the 10-16 age group but as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. It would lead to much discussion on a variety of topics, but especially the plight of our indigenous population when the early settlers built on and farmed land to which they felt entitled. It may also leave the reader wanting to know more about the history of Australia.
Young teens who read the sci-fi/fantasy genre, as well as those who like history and strong female characters, would enjoy this novel.
Reviewed by Sue Mauger
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Walker Books
Released: September 2018