Okay, I'm going to try and write a review of Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay that will make you want to read the book, but not spoil anything for you... If you are reading it at the moment, probably not a good idea to read the rest of this =D

This is a compelling story of an ordinary Australian family who is swept up in a mother's determination to make the Maloney name stand out among others. The family consists of three boys and two girls, a father broken by war and of course the mother who, without a doubt, holds them all together.

Main Characters

Mum is the glue of the family, she is forever understanding of dad and his troubles concerning the war, she doesn't beat around the bush about anything and is a strong believer that the truth should always be out in the open. Mum is easily the most dominant character in Four Fires

Dad is broken by war and has an alcohol problem. Throughout the story we see him have his ups and downs, frequently doing time in goal and he's on and off the wagon (alcohol). His children hold no respect for him and for good reason. Dad is a perfect example of how people can be changed by the horrors of war. Under no circumstances will dad ever talk about his experiences.

This kid can fix anything at all. He keeps the family rubbish truck (a Diamond T) going for about 5 years after it should've been scrapped, he finds old things at the tip and fixes them good as new. He is also a boxer and a mean force to be reckoned with, if anyone says anything about his family that is out of line, then look out.

The arty kid of the family. He is a dab hand at embriodery and can easily do all 8 different types of stitches. He is an avid fashion follower and loves all other things to do with fashion designing. Mike is one of those kids who has a way with words and can sweet talk anyone into almost anything.

This "steady" one in the family. The story is told through his eyes, and his perspective is far mature than a boy of his age should be. Mole is closest to his father whether he likes it or not. He has been chosen to learn the art of fighting bush fires.

Easily the most intelectually advantaged individual in the Maloney litter, Sarah is planning to become a doctor, or was, until the male staff at the university decided to have a say about it. Vice-prefect of her school, head of the family, Sarah is a model for all daughters.

Little Colleen
Colleen is the baby of the family and learns from her elder sibilings' mistakes. Still an toddler though, Colleen will not come into the tale until late in the book.

This book is probably getting right up there with the best I've ever read, if I start to rattle them off then I'll never stop, so I'll just leave it at "I liked this book very much".

The most enjoyable sections of the book are when Mole finds himself fighting bush-fires. Its good to see that him and his father are getting along enough to work in sinc. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy in the good bits of the book, this truly is Bryce Courtenay back at his best.

Emotional ups and downs are rife throughout Four Fires. Sarah's deilemmas, Bozo's dissapointments and Mike's downfalls - on the other hand theres Sarahs achievements, Bozo's talents and Tommy's good days.

My recommendation is that you run as fast as you can to the local book store and either steal this book or dig deep into the pocket and purchase it so you can read it again and again and again.

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