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Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Parkand beautifully narrated by Kate HoodI have been listening to this on audio just a chapter or two at a time and loved it The setting is in Sydney, Australia, in a well worn place known as The Rocks which is an historic area in the centre of Sydney City and close to the harbour.Built chiselled from local sandstone and hand made bricks by some of our earliest settlers, most of whom were convict labour, its cobbled streets remain an awe inspiring reminder of our uniq Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Parkand beautifully narrated by Kate HoodI have been listening to this on audio just a chapter or two at a time and loved it The setting is in Sydney, Australia, in a well worn place known as The Rocks which is an historic area in the centre of Sydney City and close to the harbour.Built chiselled from local sandstone and hand made bricks by some of our earliest settlers, most of whom were convict labour, its cobbled streets remain an awe inspiring reminder of our unique heritage and is a perfectly magical setting which is very befitting this story.Although the surrounding area has changed a bit since this book was written, The Rocks is well preserved as a heritage listed area and still looks very much as it always has.This is an area I know wellhaving grown up in Sydney and having spent many good times wandering there as a child and adult, It is a beautiful place steeped in historyand haunted too It is easy to envision this endearing time travelling Beatie Bow story unfolding there When a harmless little scary game called playing Beatie Bow goes awry, little Abigail finds herself suddenly transported to another place and timea place she is sure she doesn t recognize, yet is somehow familiar Listening to this I was very much reminded of another beautifully narrated story I listened to on audio which readers of this might also like The Poppet and the Luneby Madeline Claire FranklinAudio version Narrated by Elizabeth Basalto I will forever remember the moment I first encountered this book After a particularly mundane school day I plonked myself down in the backseat of our car and prepared for the drive home However, instead of starting the engine my mother turned around and said, I ve got a small surprise for you I was at a bookshop today and thought you might enjoy this She then proceeded to hand me a copy of Playing Beatie Bow Getting a book as a surprise gift truly made my day, I was almost giddy with anti I will forever remember the moment I first encountered this book After a particularly mundane school day I plonked myself down in the backseat of our car and prepared for the drive home However, instead of starting the engine my mother turned around and said, I ve got a small surprise for you I was at a bookshop today and thought you might enjoy this She then proceeded to hand me a copy of Playing Beatie Bow Getting a book as a surprise gift truly made my day, I was almost giddy with anticipation to read it I was nine years old, and although I liked it, I don t think I really understood it all.Reading it as an adult I have a completely different appreciation of it.I found it to be an easy, quick read The events unfolded much faster given that my grown up brain was able to digest the themes of supernatural time travel, period English language, brothels and complicated emotional feelings much easier.I still like Abigail and still found Beatie to be a little brat The story moved at a quick pace and changed enough to keep you interested I also appreciated the ending despite it s sappiness and that it tied everything up neatly.Upon re reading I m not sure I would give it to a 9 year old to read as it does peek into somewhat adult themes, but then again those themes flew right over my head back then and I loved the book Fourteen year old Abigail is having a rough time Her parents separated four years ago when her father left the family for a young girlfriend, but now he wants to reunite with his wife and move from Sydney to Norway But her life takes a truly unexpected turn when she sees a group of younger children playing a game she s never encountered before, called Beatie Bow Another odd girl watches from the shadows and when Abby follows her, she finds herself transported a hundred years into the pas Fourteen year old Abigail is having a rough time Her parents separated four years ago when her father left the family for a young girlfriend, but now he wants to reunite with his wife and move from Sydney to Norway But her life takes a truly unexpected turn when she sees a group of younger children playing a game she s never encountered before, called Beatie Bow Another odd girl watches from the shadows and when Abby follows her, she finds herself transported a hundred years into the past Much as I wanted to love this book, its primary effect has been to make me want to barf The story has a nice idea and goal Abigail is very resentful of both of her parents her father for abandoning the family, and her mother for now wanting to forgive him and drop the life she s created for herself without him The author wants to bring her heroine to an understanding of what drives adults to behave this way, and bring the family into harmony And some of the way this is achieved is pretty interesting The Rocks area of Sydney is presented with fair historical accuracy so far as I can tell it s full of poverty and danger and illness The Bow family, who take Abigail in for the duration of her stay in the past, are also realistically portrayed, both loving each other and getting on each other s nerves at the same time And I m not sure how long Abigail was actually supposed to have been stuck in history, but her hair grows a few inches and her figure starts to come in at last, so she does change physically as well as emotionally while she s there But I found the rest of the story to be a steaming heap of meh mixed with some points that made me just plain angry Warning Slightly spoilericious from here on Abigail is presented as a pretty unlikable character at the beginning of the story and why is she unlikable Because she hasn t been kind and supportive enough to her mother, and therefore she must be a terrible person And because she can t understand why her father had to dump his wife and child just because he fell in love with another woman And maybe because she doesn t feel sorry for her father when it appears his girlfriend has now dumped him in order to move to Canada I don t feel sorry for him, either So, despite the insistence that Abigail is in the past to perform a favor for the Bow family, the real purpose of the whole story is to force her to become a nice daughter who will believe that adults are just as deserving of happiness as children are As if children and parents enjoy the same level of autonomy and power in a family, or in society I m not arguing that adults need to entirely subsume themselves to their children, but come on in this story, the adults are jerking Abigail all over the place emotionally, while acting like 14 year olds themselves, and she s the one who s presented as needing to grow up Although, since her parents are clearly hopeless, I suppose she s the only person in her family with a chance at maturity Then, the way this is achieved is by having Abigail fall in love with 18 year old Judah, the eldest son of the Bow family and a man, not a boy due to living a hundred years earlier But Judah is promised to someone else, and Abigail s love never develops beyond an age appropriate 14 year old crush Yet somehow, this is what makes her understand her parents, and why her father had to act on his crush And that understanding of love makes everything okay, and turns Abigail into a wonderful person The ending ending, where she meets Judah s descendant reincarnation four years later and they instantly recognize their enduring love for one another, had me gagging and rolling my eyes to an extent that I m lucky my face didn t freeze that way I probably would have liked this book as a child But from my adult perspective, the story felt overly contrived, and I really can t like a book with such a preachy and potentially seriously guilt inducing message for children And frankly, I preferred terrible Abigail at the beginning of the story to wonderful Abigail at the end As an Australian my excuse for not having read this before is that I grew up in England and therefore did not read this at school as so many people did I really love Ruth Park s books especially as I know Sydney well and can visualize the places she writes about Playing Beatie Bow is set in the Rocks area of Sydney and the references to local places are wonderful Add to this the fact that the book features time travel which is one of my favourite things and you can see it has to be a winner f As an Australian my excuse for not having read this before is that I grew up in England and therefore did not read this at school as so many people did I really love Ruth Park s books especially as I know Sydney well and can visualize the places she writes about Playing Beatie Bow is set in the Rocks area of Sydney and the references to local places are wonderful Add to this the fact that the book features time travel which is one of my favourite things and you can see it has to be a winner for me I enjoyed all of the characters, all of the descriptions of life at that time and the clever little story which deftly linked the past to the present and managed to have a happy ending Beautiful when I ve had a couple of drinks and am trekking up the sandstone steps by the Argyle Cut to go to the Glen, I sing to myself oh Mudda, oh Mudda, what s that, what s that it s Beatie Bow, risen from the dead and chuckle I loved this book when I was young, it s given me a whole new way to look at the city around me, and to think about history aside from its romance and strong, appealing characters I think about the stockings in Abigail s mother s shop, and how Abigail knows that the p when I ve had a couple of drinks and am trekking up the sandstone steps by the Argyle Cut to go to the Glen, I sing to myself oh Mudda, oh Mudda, what s that, what s that it s Beatie Bow, risen from the dead and chuckle I loved this book when I was young, it s given me a whole new way to look at the city around me, and to think about history aside from its romance and strong, appealing characters I think about the stockings in Abigail s mother s shop, and how Abigail knows that the past is unknowable by the present, because she s been there and she s seen I still love this book it has been my fourth time now Abigail is a kind of anti heroine, but her personality is interestingly multi faceted, Beatie and the rest of the Bow Family are so entertainingly vivid and Abigail s time travel experience is believably painted in loving detail up to the accent of the Scottish immigrants and their Glasgow Marble patterned woolen stockings.There is no denying that the ending is cotton candy pink it successfully underlines the two disputable messages I still love this book it has been my fourth time now Abigail is a kind of anti heroine, but her personality is interestingly multi faceted, Beatie and the rest of the Bow Family are so entertainingly vivid and Abigail s time travel experience is believably painted in loving detail up to the accent of the Scottish immigrants and their Glasgow Marble patterned woolen stockings.There is no denying that the ending is cotton candy pink it successfully underlines the two disputable messages the author is trying to shout in our direction a Real love on first sight exists b The ability to love deeply and truly is not connected to age or experience.30 years old and recommended Delightful Revisiting my childhood in the sweetest way. *Download ☛ Playing Beatie Bow ☙ Distraught over her parents separation, Abigail follows a strange child called Beatie Bow and time slips back a hundred years where she becomes involved with an Australian shopkeeper s family Fourteen year old Abigail Kirk lives with her divorced mother in a high rise apartment in one of Sydney s oldest suburbs, The Rocks, right below the giant Harbour Bridge and near the Opera House Over the summer holidays, she helps at her mother s antiques shop and relieves her neighbour Justine of the burden of her two small children, Vincent the high rise monster , and four year old Natalie, prone to fevers and fears and forever being bullied by her unpleasant brother Abigail takes them to Fourteen year old Abigail Kirk lives with her divorced mother in a high rise apartment in one of Sydney s oldest suburbs, The Rocks, right below the giant Harbour Bridge and near the Opera House Over the summer holidays, she helps at her mother s antiques shop and relieves her neighbour Justine of the burden of her two small children, Vincent the high rise monster , and four year old Natalie, prone to fevers and fears and forever being bullied by her unpleasant brother Abigail takes them to a nearby park, and there she watches a group of children playing a game called Beatie Bow Vincent joins in, but Natalie hangs back to watch, and draws Abigail s attention to a waifish, poorly dressed little girl with very short hair, standing nearby and avidly watching.The children s game is rather spooky, though there isn t much to it they form a circle but for two of them, one to stand in the middle as Mudda mother who answers her children s cries of what s that noise when they hear moans and other creepy sounds, and the other to hide under a white sheet and creep towards them to give them a fright The children scatter, the ghost of Beatie Bow catches one to take her or his place, and the game begins again.When Abigail s mother Kathy tells her daughter that her ex husband wants to get back together with them, to make the family whole again and take them all to Norway with him Abigail is furious She never got over the feeling of betrayal when he left them left her, is how she sees it for another woman when she was ten In a miff and angry with her mother for wanting her ex husband back, she goes to the park and when she sees Natalie s little furry girl , she tries to talk to her The little girl flees, and startled, Abigail follows, up through the narrow old alleys and stairwells, and suddenly, at the stroke of the town clock, finds herself in a world both familiar and utterly alien.It s 1873 in Sydney Town, a muddy colonial town, and the little girl s family takes Abigail in after she sprains her ankle running through the streets after the girl who says her name is Beatie Bow The family of Scottish immigrants consists of Granny Tallisker, who has the Gift , and Mr Bow, an Englishman suffering from a head injury after fighting in the Crimean War who married Granny s daughter, now dead of typhoid fever that took her newborn baby and another child as well Mr Bow runs a confectionary shop on the ground floor, making all the sweets with his extended family s help As well as Beatie, Samuel Bow has a son, a teenager called Judah who works as a sailor, and a younger son, Gibbie, who hasn t yet recovered from the typhoid fever that took his mother and who relishes planning out his own funeral and being sickly Also living with them is their cousin, Dorcas Tallisker, known as Dovey, who has a limp leg from a childhood accident that was never set properly.Granny and Dovey think that Abigail is the stranger , whose coming has an important purpose to do with the Gift living on in the family Granny is the last one, and there aren t many family members left They won t help Abigail return to her own time until she s fulfilled her purpose in being here, whatever that is even though, as Abigail learns, it means that one of Granny s four grandchildren will remain childless, one will have the Gift, and one will die young.Anyone who grew up in Australia in the 80s will be familiar with this story It was first published in 1980 but had a second life when the movie adaptation came out in 1986 You can watch the entire film adaptation on YouTube, which I ve been doing while I write this review, mostly because I wanted to see if it was really like my memories See, I remember watching the movie at school, with my class grade five I d say, when I was ten That would have been 1989 I think Well I m not sure exactly when we watched it in class, and I think there wasthan one time, but I remembered it as being really rather scary I couldn t remember much except the Beatie Bow game, the little furry girl who seemed very mysterious to me, and the modern day older girl in the movie she s seventeen being almost lured into the past I remember the palms touching that s one of the strongest things to have stayed with me throughout my life I remembered it as being the key to the time travel Of course, this doesn t even happen in the book Anyway, I always had a very lively imagination that lived on darker images, so this certainly made an impression on me, even though I didn t really understand it all.Perhaps because the movie spooked me, I never read the book as a kid It was one of those very popular novels and my school library certainly had a copy, but I never had any interest in reading it until a few years ago when I hunted down a copy viayou can still get it easily in Australia, but I don t think it was ever in print in Canada I ll add this about the adaptation it s very 80s but very good, it sticks pretty closely to the book and I think one of the reasons why my teachers liked us to see it, aside from it being Australian, was because it provides a good glimpse into life in colonial Sydney how people lived, what it looked like etc If you ve got a spare 127 minutes, definitely click on the link and watch the movie Abigail isn t a bad sort at the beginning of the story, but as the months go by in 1873 and she spendstime with the Tallisker Bow family, she realises just how selfish she s always been, especially in regards to her mother and father I m not kind, said Abigail with a sickish surprise Look how I went on with Mum when she said she wanted us to get together with Dad again Look what I did to Dad when I was little, punched him on the nose and made it bleed Maybe I ve never been really kind in my life.And she remembered with a pang what Kathy had said, that awful day that she had never, either as a child or a fourteen year old, offered a word of sympathy to her her mother Yet here are these people, happy and grateful to be able to read and write, just to be allowed to earn a living and they ve shared everything they can share with me, whom they don t know from Adam These Victorians lived in a dangerous world, where a whole family could be wiped out with typhoid fever or smallpox, where a soldier could get a hole in his head that you could put your fist in, where there were no pensions or free hospitals or penicillin or proper education for girls, or even boys, probably Yet, in a way, it was ahuman world than the one Abigail called her own pp.76 77 As the movie did later, the book recreates colonial Sydney with fine detail, in all its grimy, rotten teeth glory It s rich with atmosphere, some excitement and danger, and isof a family history than a story of colonial Australia It s Abigail s coming of age story, a time for her to learn a great many things patience, selflessness and generosity, love and loss, to appreciate what one has, and to make the most of things She falls in love with Judah, and on learning that he s long been betrothed to Dovey, learns how to let go She takes on this family s burden of heritage as a personal one, and stops whinging and lamenting her lot in order to help them.These are some very well written characters They don t read like characters in a book but like real people, captured by the author but not conjured by her The story is quite simple, not over crowded with plot hurdles or too much drama It plays out convincingly, and Abigail is a strong heroine able to carry the story and bind it all together The other key character of strength is of course Beatie Bow herself, who is a good counter to Dovey s gentleness and kindness The book doesn t suffer from the film s starry eyed gaze there s a bit of glossy posturing and soft lens action that s distinctly 80s , and at fourteen, Abigail acts appropriately for her age.The ending is great, if a bit convenient I had forgotten how it went, but it ties everything up so well and doesn t feel forced This is a wonderful time travel adventure story, a great journey through old Sydney Town s established streets, rich in layers of detail and history At its heart, it is a story about getting perspective on family, and love, and life in general Abigail travels a long way in order to realise what her own family means to her, and how she can help make her mother and father happy again, as well as herself I enjoyed reading this a great deal, and I m so glad I did read it, even after all these years it s never too late to read a classic, right And read again and again, and keep the book alive by reading it yet again It s always sad to think of how many great books flared brightly but with a short wick, to sink away, out of print for ever , so I m always happy when a book manages to survive, and be remembered and read again Let s keep these modern classics alive, shall we I remember crying over this book at school It s pretty dark for a novel aimed at young adults, but Ruth Park is so deft at weaving the strands of her story that it s very difficult to put down, even as an adult Much of this story is a curious blend of history and fantasy, but the themes she explores through the eyes of her out of place lead character family, fitting in, first love, first loss are thoroughly modern.