A Chain of Events

Philip's Story

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
280 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

The story of Philip in A Chain of Events is one of the most touching and beautiful stories you will ever read. It is also one of the most violent, sometimes almost unbelievably so. But given that this historical fiction is based on facts, thoroughly researched by Eileen Hare-Scott, unless you’re made of stone, prepare yourself for an very emotional ride into life in the early 1900s in Australia. When 13-year-old Philip is released from the Destitute Asylum in Sydney to make his own way in the world, disastrous circumstances beyond his control derail the path set out for him, and where he ends up is not where he was intended to go. But some higher power must have been watching out for him when help comes his way from a most unexpected source: an aborigine named Jacky-Jacky. As Philip grows into adulthood, these indigenous people of Australia come into and out of Philip’s life and the lives of those he loves on several occasions. Finding himself increasingly inspired by them, he becomes a minister and is determined to change the attitudes of too many racist white Australians who see “abos” only as “filthy heathens.”

Though specific to Australia, the dominant and universal theme of man’s inhumanity to man is brilliantly explored through the always in motion plot and convoluted relationships of the many characters who live and die throughout this novel. Behind it all is Philip’s subconscious search for his roots and the reasons why he spent his early years in the Destitute Asylum of Sydney. The unfolding of Philip’s life story holds readers captive with the ever evolving, unexpected connections to his past. Despite the many tragedies that occur along the way, readers will come away from this book deeply moved but enriched, enlightened but disturbed, as Eileen Hare-Scott brings Philip’s story to a most satisfying close. I absolutely loved this story. So clever and well thought out. A Chain of Events is, without doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. Highly recommended.