Garimara-Nugi, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Pilkington-Doris, social commentary

#645 Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Nugi GarimaraFollow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara

Molly, Daisy, and Gracie live in Australia. At first, they lived with their families near a settlement, but because all three girls are half white, it is deemed that they would be better off educated and taken care of by the government. They are taken away, over a thousand miles away from their home to a school where children are treated brutally. The girls decide that they’re going home.

They sneak out of the school one morning and go off into the bush. The girls learned the ways of the wilderness from their families. They know how to catch their own food and find water. They elude capture after capture along the way.

The journey takes over a month. The girls find the rabbit-proof fence and follow it. They eventually make it home. It is deemed that it has been too costly to reclaim them and that they should just stay with their families.

What I liked

I’ve seen the movie that was based on this book a couple of times. It’s a bit inflated compared to this book, but still not a bad representation of what the girls went through. This is a true story. These girls were real. They really did take off from a government-funded school and trek across the Australian wilderness to get home. Doris is the daughter of Molly. Her aunt helped her fill out this story. This is a great piece of family history for Doris.

These girls were strong. They were brave. Do you know a single young girl that could take off in the wilderness and survive for over a month at a time? I don’t.

I liked that I learned a bit more about Australian history with this book.

What I didn’t like

Despite the fact that these three girls were brave and defied the Australian government, that didn’t make them immune to the Australian government. There were challenges each of them faced as grown women in Australia. They still weren’t treated as they should have been.

This account shows us that the United States wasn’t the only country that took natives and tried to wipe out their culture and raise their children.


These girls were definitely brave.

Weigh In

Could you survive this journey?

Do you know anyone who could survive this journey?


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