Recommended by the Reviewers Club

The Settlement, by Jock Serong

Cover of The Settlement, by Jock Serong.

The novel about the daily events that occurred in the settlement over the period. There is the Commandant (George), he is officially in charge and runs the community. There is the storekeeper responsibly for supplying the community with provisions and he has a wife, but his wife is having an affair with the Commandant.

There is a surgeon at the post, and he carries out autopsies on all the deceased members of the community. There is a pastor known as the “Catechist,” who insists on having native orphans in his care – apparently for education – but the Commandant suspects otherwise after one dies.

All the while the Commandant awaits the arrival of the Governor hoping for a commendation for establishing the settlement and supposedly taking care of the First Nation’s People.

The Commandant considers himself friends with a First Nation’s Elder, who develops pneumonia and dies. But on his death bed, the Elder despises the man who lied to him and never delivered any of his promises. The Elder’s sister, Toogernuppertootenner and family arrive to bury him, and trick the Commandant by removing his body from the grave. They are well aware that he had planned to cut up the Elder for his scientific purposes.

Very well written. A compact story, but he manages to fit it all in well. Not a light read. Very interesting and educational.

4.5/5 Stars