Currawalli Street is a story about several families who live in the titular suburban Melbourne street. The plot begins in the early years of the 20th century, with families coming to grips with issues such as war, grief, growing up and marriage. The book ends several generations later, with the residents’ ancestors still living on the same street and the changes they face with slightly fantastical and magical elements influencing and shaping the world around-… I’m sorry have you heard this story before?
Written as if Tommy Wiseau tried to replicate Cloudstreet, author Christopher Morgan’s attempt at the Australiana suburban tale is a mess. Seemingly important character developments that are highlighted in the blurb are told briefly or, in retrospect, not at all. The rest is taken up by mundane, inconsequential, uninteresting characters, meandering up and down the street dealing with shit we’ve read about 30 million times before. The writing flows like a brick in a drain pipe, the characters so badly written and characterised that I ended hating all of them. With dialogue such as “Rose, can I be asking you something while we are alone? It won’t go any further and you can take it for what it’s worth.”, and character insights such as “Sometimes he says what he means; sometimes he doesn’t,” It’s obvious to see why I struggled through this. I wouldn’t spend money on this, I wouldn’t recommend this. If I wanted a similar experience I’d give myself a concussion and try and read Tim Winton instead.