Australia Day by Melanie Cheng is a collection of short stories that focus on contemporary Australia and the ever common desire to belong somewhere. We follow a variety of characters from numerous backgrounds in a snapshot of their day to day lives.
I had rather high hopes for this one, anticipating a social commentary of present day Australia, racial tensions and conflicting cultural ideas and all. Due to these expectations I found myself a little underwhelmed when I found a more observational story as opposed to a biting social commentary. That being said I found this an incredibly easy read and finished it rather quickly. Cheng was realistic and honest with her characters and stories, although I do have to say I didn’t overly connect with the stories and find myself a few weeks later struggling to remember any specific details.
This would be a great introduction into the multi-sutural facets of Australian lives in the present day, however, if you are someone who wants a little more grit in their read I would highly recommend trying Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke instead. That being said Australia Day was an easy read and a great introduction into the underrated style of short story collections. I give Australia Day three Australian flags.