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About This Book
Set in the 1950s on the fringe of a country town, this is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful snapshot of a Koori family that dramatises their struggle for decent housing, meaningful education, jobs and community acceptance.
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The song ‘Que Sera, Sera’ is heard:
Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be,
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera.
It’s late spring, late afternoon and gloomy outside. Inside their humpy NAN DEAR and GLADYS are rebuilding after a flood has devastated their home. Everything below three feet is sodden and mud-splattered. GLADYS mops, wrings out and removes things that are destroyed. NAN finishes hanging a piece of hessian to replace a ruined piece that lined the interior walls. Now she covers the hessian with pages from a magazine.
NAN DEAR: [pointing to some magazines] Pass those.
GLADYS: They’re Dolly’s.
NAN DEAR: They’re dry.
GLADYS hands them over. NAN rips the pages, slowly and deliberately, pastes them with homemade glue and sticks them, upside down, onto the hessian.
After a time DOLLY arrives home from school and surveys the scene critically. She toes the old, ruined lino. She sighs, resigned. Until she spots her magazines. She goes to protest but sighs again, resigned. GLADYS fakes cheerfulness.
GLADYS: It’ll be all right.
DOLLY: You always say that.
NAN and GLADYS take a quick look at each other. NAN gestures for DOLLY to come over. She does and NAN gives her granddaughter a hug.
The lights go down.
SCENE ONE (A): THE QUEEN ’S VISIT
Humpy interior. Morning. GLADYS is getting dressed up and humming to herself. DOLLY has her head down over her schoolbooks.
GLADYS listens in rapt silence to the voice of Queen Elizabeth II on the radio.
RADIO: [voice-over] …standing at last on Australian soil, on this spot, which is the birthplace of the nation, I want to tell you all, how happy I am to be amongst you, and how much I look forward to my journey amongst Australia…
The radio fades out as NAN enters.
GLADYS: That valve… Where’s my white gloves?
NAN DEAR: Gloves? Don’t need white gloves to pick beans.
GLADYS doesn’t react.
You’re going into town then, for all that hullabaloo. Think of inviting me?
GLADYS: You? I know how you feel about royalty. Even if she is the ‘first reigning monarch to visit our shores’.
DOLLY: Nan, I need your help with this.
She is doing homework.
NAN DEAR: One loyal subject in the family is enough. And someone’s got to pick.
DOLLY: I’m doing our family tree.
NAN DEAR: Tree?
GLADYS: Don’t know about loyal. Just going for a squiz.
NAN DEAR: Don’t know where you get these ideas from sometimes.
GLADYS: I’m not hurting anyone, am I? It’s a moment I’ll remember… to see our pretty young monarch and the Duke. I’m not going to miss it for all the tea in China!
GLADYS flounces out to the back room.
NAN DEAR: [to herself] Tree? [...
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Citation styles for Rainbow's End
APA 6 Citation
Harrison, J. (2013). Rainbow’s End ([edition unavailable]). Currency Press. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/2179197/rainbows-end-pdf (Original work published 2013)
Harrison, Jane. (2013) 2013. Rainbow’s End. [Edition unavailable]. Currency Press. https://www.perlego.com/book/2179197/rainbows-end-pdf.
Harrison, J. (2013) Rainbow’s End. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/2179197/rainbows-end-pdf (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Harrison, Jane. Rainbow’s End. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press, 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.