Currawalli Street is an average rural Australian street. It has orderly numbered homes with normal people who uniquely blend into this harsh world where residents hold their secrets close. There’s Rose, who has a gift of foretelling disasters; Jim, who paints portraits but also other pictures that speak of his inner feelings that just can’t be expressed in words; Johnny, who travels to find his neighbor’s daughter on the road and muses frequently on the bush fires that “follow” a man to his death; a pastor who lost his faith and logic during his father’s faith crisis when he was dying; and so much more. For this is the time, between 1914 and 1918, of the “great war” that promised adventure.
The story then leaps to 1972, and we meet Jim who has returned from fighting in the Vietnam War only to find out his parents have been murdered. Again we meet all the residents living on this street. They’ve lost the grand ideas held by their grandparents in the Great War and are seeking to find a place of peace and security. Death is a common theme threading through this novel about three generations, but it is more the story of very special human beings who love, hate, weep, laugh and more, an Australian Our Town interweaving the personal and historical moments worth celebrating and dying for. Currawalli Street is quiet and gentle but poignant, well-written historical fiction.