Book Review-The-Blue-Mile

The Blue Mile


Kim Kelly

While I have grouped The Blue Mile in the General Fiction category, it is said, on the blurb to be an historical fiction novel, which I suppose is, as it takes place at the start of Australia’s Great Depression in the early 1930s.  The Blue Mile refers to the stretch of water, in Sydney Harbour, between the homes of lead characters, Yo O’Keenan and Miss Olivia Greene.

O’Kennan and Greene must overcome their Irish Catholic and English backgrounds and also in the mix is O’Kennan’s young sister who he has taken with him to escape an abusive home environment.

O’Kennan manages to find work building latter stages of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.   This is not ongoing work and upon its conclusion his Irish pride sees his life appear to fall apart.

However, we all know that young love will win out over adversity.  In this case it is a matter of how that is going to happen.

My only negative comment about this novel, and it has more to do with the narrator than the author, was that the male voices working on the Harbour Bridge seemed to be shouting whenever they spoke.  This may have been to convey to the listener a sense of the type of men working in that environment.  I found these gruff voice characterisations a minor irritation in an otherwise enjoyable novel.   That said, I do believe that the idea of unskilled labourers working on the Bridge was thoroughly conveyed by the narrator James Harvy, to his audience.

The audio version to which I listened was narrated alternately by Zoe Ellerton-Ashley and James Harvy.   Overall, I enjoyed their narrations, character voices and the perspective each character put on the same situation.


This was my first Kim Kelly novel and it will not be my last as I have just found and downloaded Paper Daisies and This Red Earth, also by Kim Kelly.

I think

The Blue Mile

 The Blue Mile

is a


Goodreads readers have rated

The Blue Mile

 an average of 3.8 stars from

150 ratings and 40 reviews


The Blue Mile

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon


3 thoughts on “Book Review-The-Blue-Mile

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