Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Book review: Pebble on the Beach

By Tony Diamond
Published by QueenSpark Books

On 28th April 1965, Barnardos took a group of children to Australia, in search of a new life and better opportunities. Aged 16, Anthony Roy Bates was one of those children and this is his story.

Through the pages of Pebble on the Beach, that same boy, now in his sixties and with a new name, Tony Diamond, recalls his adventure. He might have only spent 9 months away from his home in Hove but they were most certainly 9 action-packed months.

After the flight from London Heathrow, young Tony spends a few days in Sydney before being sent to work on a farmhouse at Scone, New South Wales. That is only going to be the first of several jobs and several places that see him becoming more and more determined to go back to England, even if that means having to stow away on a ship, failing in his escape plans and being arrested in New Zealand.

You will follow him to the other end of the world and back, you will meet all the people that enriched his experience and you will increasingly root for him to achieve is ultimate goal.

This is a precious morsel of history and the fact that Tony has written it himself makes it even more endearing. The writing style distinguishes it from a literary piece but it is pleasant nonetheless and you will almost be able to imagine his voice telling you his story as your eyes follow every word of this epic journey.

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