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Sometimes you read about a book s brilliance so much that it taints your impression of it when you finally read it No so with Sumner Locke Elliott s classic Australian novel Careful He Might Hear You PS lives with his aunt and uncle after his mother s death Six years pass, and his other aunt from England comes to Australia to civilise him The clash between the two aunts, who both feel that PS s mother chose them to be responsible for his upbringing, leads to a split existence and eventua Sometimes you read about a book s brilliance so much that it taints your impression of it when you finally read it No so with Sumner Locke Elliott s classic Australian novel Careful He Might Hear You PS lives with his aunt and uncle after his mother s death Six years pass, and his other aunt from England comes to Australia to civilise him The clash between the two aunts, who both feel that PS s mother chose them to be responsible for his upbringing, leads to a split existence and eventually a trial.This is one of the most fully realised child characters I have ever read It comes as no surprise that this novel is largely autobiographical, as there is so much emotion and repression of emotion contained within Elliott has masterfully written from PS s perspective in scenes so that we experience his confusion and angst, while at the same time dropping enough hints and coded messages to let us in on what is actually going on in the adult world It means we know things PS does not, but we still feel his innocence and confusion.Truly a classic of Australian literature A fascinating look at family dynamics Multiple POVs ensure that, interestingly, no character is the bad guy. First published in 1963, Sumner Locke Elliott s Careful, He Might Hear You is a big, beautiful, bold hearted book set in Sydney during the Great Depression It s most definitely a five star read.To read my review in full, please visit my blog First published in 1963, Sumner Locke Elliott s Careful, He Might Hear You is a big, beautiful, bold hearted book set in Sydney during the Great Depression It s most definitely a five star read.To read my review in full, please visit my blog I had to read this for uni and I loved it I couldn t hate Vanessa because she reminded me of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and don t get me started about him No, I haven t romanticised Heathcliff but I don t hate him either To me, both characters Vanessa and Heathcliff act they way they do because of influences incidents in their lives in Vanessa s case her mother and in Heathcliff s, that bitch Catherine I had to read this for uni and I loved it I couldn t hate Vanessa because she reminded me of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and don t get me started about him No, I haven t romanticised Heathcliff but I don t hate him either To me, both characters Vanessa and Heathcliff act they way they do because of influences incidents in their lives in Vanessa s case her mother and in Heathcliff s, that bitch Catherine This is an outstanding book It captures so much emotion and perspective of each character and also captures the essence of Sydney in the 1930 s So many geographical references strike a chord for my home town and much of the language typifies the memories of stories related to us by grandparents who grew up in the era Possibly the best Australian novel I ve read. an excellent book, evocative not only of Australia but of human attitudes prejudices, the misunderstandings of communication, and family relationships The progenitor, perhaps, of Tsolkias The Slap only infinitelysubtle Incredibly moving, especially as you see through the eyes of PS, the boy caught in the middle It is also a rare snapshot of Sydney in the 1930s, different yet alike an excellent book, evocative not only of Australia but of human attitudes prejudices, the misunderstandings of communication, and family relationships The progenitor, perhaps, of Tsolkias The Slap only infinitelysubtle Incredibly moving, especially as you see through the eyes of PS, the boy caught in the middle It is also a rare snapshot of Sydney in the 1930s, different yet alike .Pdf ♲ Careful He Might Hear You ☩ The story of a bitter strugle between two women for the possession of a six year old boy, written with tenderness, humour and irony First Paragraph P S, they said And Vanessa Or sometimes Ness PS PS PS PS Ness Ness Ness It sounded through his half sleep like surreptitious mice foraging through tissue paper It was as mysterious as the lateness of the hour after nine o clock and only as far away as the kitchen door, ajar so as to hear him if he should call to them or have a nightmare He turned in bed, listening to the whispering undertones, as steady and continuous as a tap left running and broken only by a cough or sometimes a chair scraping back on the linoleum then a dish being taken from a cupboard and now and then a voice would catch on fire and break adrift from the murmurings, but always with the same word, Vanessa, said sharply like hitting a brass gong at dead of night and then someone would say, Shhh, was that him Did he call out and tiptoeing would startle the old floorboards while a shadow grew larger and larger on his wall bent to hear if he was stirring and so, annoyed with their secrets, he would feign sleep until whoever it was retreated to the kitchen and the whispering hissed up again like damp green eucalyptus logs burning Surprisingly good I got this book from a book flea market and didn t know a thing about it, what it was about, neither did I know the author It stood in my to read shelf for years and finally I took it and gave it a try and read it in two days.Without a huge storyline, it still did tell much and I found the ending surprising I liked it. It took me about a hundred pages to get into the novel, but once I did I felt connected to the characters in a way that surprised me Generally I don t much care for omniscient narration, but I was able to set that distaste aside and focus instead on PS s quiet presence in what is essentially a study of control and family dynamics Very nicely put together. This is actually my first read for 2013 We were going to the beach on New Year s Day and I took the couple of days before to consider which book I d like to start the year with I still didn t quite decide til nearly the last minute We went to Balmoral Beach and when I cracked this book open, by happy coincidence, it was set around that area Balmoral Beach Neutral Bay I was stoked I made a mistake by reading the Introduction though for it told meof the story that I d like to know a This is actually my first read for 2013 We were going to the beach on New Year s Day and I took the couple of days before to consider which book I d like to start the year with I still didn t quite decide til nearly the last minute We went to Balmoral Beach and when I cracked this book open, by happy coincidence, it was set around that area Balmoral Beach Neutral Bay I was stoked I made a mistake by reading the Introduction though for it told meof the story that I d like to know and I continued reading with a hesitant spirit I wanted to get it over it but I kinda already knew that will happen and I hated that feeling I resolve from now on to skip Introductions maybe to save it til after the reading.The Child and the Mother in me protest at calling a child PS short for Postscript Understandably, whilst it was the mother who began the nickname whilst bub is still peanut size, I found it unbelievable that it would carry on for years To read, in the Introduction, that the painful struggles of PS is based on his the author s own experiences in childhood , made this story especially painful knowing that it was partially, mostly true.PS had 4 aunties his mother s sisters one whom he lived with mothers him so, one who adores him but only when convenient, one who believes the end of the world is coming in a few months time, and one who lives half a world away but is on her way to take charge of him I did not find any of these aunties to be endearing and hence, my not liking this book so much.Aunt Lila is basically the mother he knows but she is overly protective among other annoying habits Spelling every inconvenient not so happy thing someone or even disguising unhappy bits to make them sound innocent and lovely was a bit much for me Reading it was smothering and I can just imagine what effects it would have on a child who is now old enough to understand if some adult will take the time to explain things to him.Aunt Vanessa wants him for reasons she herself doesn t quite realise She s determined to change him, to mould him to what she wants him to be PS is fascinated by her and at the same time, frightened of her and is disliked her for the changes she s wrought in his life Being pulled in 2 directions with family politics and machinations of which he isn t aware of the details of but could understand enough from the moods of his aunties, that things aren t well, distressed him Aunt Vanessa s silent treatment and moodiness upset him.I m not a perfect or the best mother around but the mothering in this book irks me so It might have been typical of the time to assume that a child just will not understand many of the issues however it never does well to underestimate what a child will understand In the end as most of the book is told from PS perspective , it is PS who is empowered who grasped the knowledge of self and grabbed hold of it, looking forward