Riverboat Family

Riverboat Family

by Elizabeth Wilton
©1969, Item: 86986
Hardcover, 214 pages
Used Price: $6.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

The books in this section are usually hardcover and in decent shape, though we'll sometimes offer hard-to-find books in lesser condition at a reduced price. Though we often put images of the book with their original dust jackets, the copies here won't always (or even often) have them. If that is important to you, please call ahead or say so in the order comments! 

"The Mary-Ann," shouted Tim. "We could raise the Mary-Ann." Slowly her sister, brothers, and cousin realized that Tim had hit on the one idea that might keep the family on the river. They could raise the old paddle-wheeler from the bottom of the Murray, restore her to working order, and use her as a trading boat. Maybe this time Father would succeed, and his brother, their Uncle Priestly, might stop acting so superior.

To Father, Tim's scheme is a miracle, for the river seems to run with the blood in his veins, and to leave it would be like dying for him. He grabs at the idea, and he and Mother and the five children quickly form the Family Company, designed to make the Mary-Ann (renamed the Pelican) the best trading boat in Australia.

Australia is changing rapidly in the Victorian era as railroads begin to draw the colonies closer together. The river people see the railroads as a threat, however, and the crew of the Pelican is caught up in the controversy as they trade up and down the river. When Uncle Priestly, who is building a railway that parallels the river, challenges them to a race, Father accepts for many reasons, and even bets his life savings. The race becomes more than a simple rivalry between brothers as railroad people and river people start to take sides. The whole pattern of Australian life seems to be at stake.

The story of the Angus family, the Pelican, and the great race is told with verve and imagination by an Australian writer who knows well the riverboat country.

Elizabeth Wilton lives in St. Peters, Australia, a suburb of Adelaide, where she teaches physically and educationally handi- capped children. She attended schools in Australia and Tasmania, including Adelaide Teachers' College and the University of Ade- laide. She lives in a small house set in a large garden that is home to two cats and large numbers of birds. Among Miss Wilton's many interests are music, stamp collecting, and gathering stories about the history of Australia.

Miss Wilton's interest in riverboats was piqued by the recollections of an elderly friend whose husband had traded on the Murray River from a steamer built with material from the original Mary-Ann. As one idea led her to explore another, the story of Riverboat Family emerged. "By the end of it," says Miss Wilton, "I was as much in love with the river as the people who lived on it."

from the dust jacket

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