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Thursday’s Child
Author - Sonya Hartnett

The book Thursday’s Child written by Sonya Hartnett is an autobiographical story of a girl named Harper Flute. The story revolves around Harper and her family and is set in the long years of the great depression. The character that makes the story unusual is the existence of her second brother Tin or James Augustin Barnabas Flute, who was the fourth child in the family after Harper herself. Tin, born on a Thursday was a recluse and rather different from the rest of his family. This aspect of Tin’s character made it hard for his family, especially his parents, to understand him. When Tin was five years old Harper’s youngest brother Caffy was born.The arrival of Caffy only made Tin even more of a recluse and he started living by himself under the house by digging a sort of enclave. This digging continued as the years went by and it became a sort of obsession. It drew him farther and farther away from his family till a time came when even his own family considered him a wild savage. It was only Harper who from time to time tried to keep a track of Tin’s whereabouts. Harper also had an elder sister by the name of Audery and a brother named Devon. While Tin was moving away from his family, they too were undergoing many trials, the biggest of which was losing their youngest child Caffy in an old treacherous well from which even the expert hands of Tin could not save him. The story ends with Tin coming to his family’s rescue in a time of dire need by bringing to them a nugget of gold which he knew would solve his family’s financial need. The gold nugget which Tin must have found during his various excursions enabled Harper and her sister Audery to move away from their life in the country and settle in a place near the ocean, something Harper had always dreamt of doing. Harper reminisces about her past life and her fear’s which she believes are finally at rest. She remembers Tin and at times fancies that she can still hear him in the sand and soil.
Sonya Hartnett is the internationally acclaimed author of several novels, including Thursday's Child, winner of the 2002 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and Forest, winner of the 2002 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year: Older Readers. In 2003, her adult novel, Of a Boy, won the Age Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.
In 2000 and again in 2003, Sonya Hartnett has been named one of The Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelists of the Year. Her work has been published internationally with editions available in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway and Denmark.
She has several more awards to her credit. Sonya lives in Melbourne with a dog named Shilo and a cat named Idaho.

Excerpt : Now I would like to tell you about my brother, Tin. James Augustin Barnabas Flute, he was, born on a Thursday and so fated to his wanderings, but we called him Tin for short. He wasn’t my youngest brother, because its right to count in Caffy, but I never saw Tin an old man or even a young one, so he stays just as a boy in my mind.Tin’s bound up in childhood forever, as far as my recollection goes, although the last time I saw him he was wizened and looking ancient as the hills. Memory is eccentric, how it stalls when it wants to…

Book Facts :
Format : Paperback
Published By : Walker Books and Subsidiaries
The Guradian winner of Children’s fiction Prize 2002
ISBN : 0-7445-5996-0
No of Pages : 217

Review - Ananya Mittra

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