RaveThe Canberra Times (AUS)Keneally has created an entertaining and moving novel spinning out from this historical fact, creating a vivid picture of colonial Australia ... One highlight of the novel is an encounter between Plorn and some bushrangers, and even here, his father\'s illustrious name changes the direction of the meeting. Some of the quirky ways people speak in The Dickens Boy, the hidden aspects of their ancestry being revealed, and the need for a young man to find his way in the world provide a link back to Dickens ... However, if, like Plorn, the reader is unfamiliar with Dickens\'s novels, the book stands on its own as an inventive and enticing vision of 19th century Australia ... The Dickens Boy is wonderfully complex, and, like Dickens\'s works, deserves reading and rereading. We are lucky to have Keneally continuing to write novels which capture so much of our past in a complex and eminently readable way.
RaveThe Canberra Times (AUS)...gripping, sometimes even disturbing, and will stay with the reader for a long time ... The description of the author\'s examination of two children suffering from the illness takes the reader into the home of the afflicted girls, alongside the girls\' parents and usual helpers. I felt almost uneasy about being given so many details of this visit; it is certainly a powerful and vivid section of the book ... Some of the concepts introduced are quite difficult, but the effort required to understand is certainly worthwhile. O\'Sullivan is to be commended for taking on some big issues about illness, the divisions drawn between mind and body, and what is seen as normal. She brings a wealth of research and experience together for us all.