PAINT THE TOWN READ: Ferren and the Angel at Beaumont Street, Auburn, New South Wales

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Closest of all the ruins was Beaumont Street, two hundred metres away. It was barely a quarter the size of the Home Ground. Rusty metal girders rose up out of a jumble of broken concrete slabs and jagged sections of brick wall. 

Man, I don’t know if I read this book completely wrong or if Richard Harland just plucked names out of a hat for his locations but this does not make a lot of sense to me. From various descriptions in the book, I had always assumed that the Home Ground and Beaumont Street were in a decrepit industrial area. So when Mum and I turned down Beaumont Street, I was waiting for something massive to rise up in front of me.  Not so, my friends. Beaumont Street is pretty much as suburban as you get.

IMG_6054I was looking around for anything that could, in a decaying state, match Harland’s descriptions throughout the book but I was hard-pressed to find anything apart from maybe the Auburn Botanical Gardens a bit further up.. I think this is the problem I had when reading Ferren and the Angel. Sometimes the description is just so vague that you can’t properly picture things, and Ferren’s limited knowledge of the world around him strains against descriptive words. I have no idea how Ferren would even know the word for girders when the People think that fly spray is a sacred object.

IMG_6055I went to check out the Botanical Gardens and there was one big expanse of grass that matched how I pictured the Plains even though the distance seemed all wrong. Maybe one day I’ll reread the book and everything will make sense. And maybe one day I’ll make my way back there and finally be able to cobble together a better mental image than Harland’s descriptions allow. For now, I’ll learn to be content with being confused. Not every Paint the Town Read location I visit can be as accurate as things in Divergent or Melina Marchetta’s books.

You can see more Paint the Town Read posts on my Instagram account with the hashtag #caapaintthetownread.

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