Mick Jackson – Yuki Chan in Bronte Country

After the loss of her mother years before, Yuki finally decides to visit the famous British sights mentioned in all the Bronte novels. Her mother has been there, too, and left her pictures of which Yuki tries to find the origins to feel closer to her. Yet, already the beginning of trip announces masses of problems when her luggage goes missing and the rest of her group, a bunch of elderly ladies with whom she scarcely has something in common, are a very poor company. But after caking friends with a local girl, the trip promises to fill some of her expectations.
I had expected a book with close links to the famous novels, but soon I had to find out that the protagonist hardly knows anything about the famous sisters. Nevertheless, I was not disappointed at all because I read a book with an underlying melancholy which I really enjoyed. Yuki’s expatriation in Great Britain where she hardly understands something and where the feeling of loss becomes more and more pestering really gets under your skin. There are funny episodes, a lot of them actually, but it is a kind of fun that makes you laugh and stop immediately because it is at the cost of the poor young women whom you come to like immediately. She is a bit strange, but it’s a lovely strangeness which makes her adorable at once.

Mick Jackson’s style of writing convinced me at once, he really manages to combine comical aspects with melancholical ones which creates a very unique feeling. Apart from this the story, the search for traces of the beloved mother, was convincingly constructed and interesting to read. What I liked especially were the precise observation when it came to cultural differences or manners, the clash of the British and Japanese was to me an absolute plus while reading.

Helen Hodgman – Jack und Jill

Im australischen Outback wächst die kleine Jill nach dem Tod ihrer Mutter allein beim Vater auf. Als dieser den Wanderarbeiter Jack einstellt, ist sie zugleich fasziniert und verschreckt, doch zwischen den beiden entsteht ein Band, trotz des Altersunterschiedes. Ihre Lehrerin öffnet ihren geistigen Horizont und Jill lernt fleißig, was sie unweigerlich von den beiden Männern entfernt und irgendwann in die weite Welt führt. Auch Jack verlässt den 5. Kontinent, um im Krieg zu dienen, aus dem er verwundet zurückkehrt. Wieder in der Heimat führt sie ihr Weg wieder auf Jills elterlichen Hof, wo sie ihre weiteren Jahre mal besser mal schlechter miteinander verbringen.

Eine seltsame Liebesgeschichte, die nicht wirklich eine ist, zu viele bittere Momente gibt es zwischen Jack und Jill und dennoch führt sie das Leben immer wieder zueinander. Zuneigung ist schwer zu erkennen, Zweckgemeinschaft im besten Falle und dennoch scheint sie irgendetwas zu verbinden und beieinander zu halten. Ein schwer einzuordnender Roman, der einem etwas ratlos und verwirrt zurücklässt.