The Curse of the Turtle
by Thomas Roy
Illustrated by Rex Backhaus-Smith
The Bodley Head, 1977, [First Edition], ISBN 037030019X, black and white illustrations in text, illustrated title page, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, minor rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, previous owners faint lead pencil notes on front endpaper, price-clipped dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners (see photographs)
“At the Aboriginal camp, a quarter of a mile from Oonaderra, the Brent family’s homestead, the corroboree fires cast an eerie glow over the assembled tribesmen and the tall, commanding figure of their leader, Tajalli, silhouetted against the timeless backdrop of the Australian bush.
Behind a burnt-out tree, Jimmy Brent watches. Suddenly Tajalli raises his shield in his left hand and in the minutes that follow, the boy watches spellbound as an invocation is chanted to the god, Oona, the great turtle. What jimmy sees urges him to find out later from Tajurra, Tajalli’s son, the meaning of the ceremony; it is then that he learns of the curse that broods over Oonaderra and of the resentment the Aborigines have been harbouring against his family, the Brents, since they first settled the tribe’s sacred land in 1895.
With the unfolding of this fascinating tale, Thomas Roy evokes the beautiful and symbolic culture of the Aborigines, the harshness of life on Australia’s wild Cape York Peninsula and the binding loyalty between Jimmy and Tajurra who realize, as one tragedy follows another, that the survival of Oonaderra depends on the reconciliation between black and white.”