By Peter Corris
Jack and Bart are best mates, whose friendship seems all but over. While Bart is recovering from a broken leg, he is also coping with his new girlfriend, his single-parent mum and her boyfriend, and his need to know more about his father who he has never met. Jack on the other hand, has lost himself to anger – lashing out at his mate, dabbling in drugs and alcohol, and crashing a car that kills another friend.
While the bond of friendship means so much to Bart that he is willing to track down his criminal father in the search of answers, we don’t actually get to see any of that friendship in the story – the book starting when the friends are already estranged – and so it’s a bit difficult to understand why Bart clings to the friendship so loyally. Otherwise though, it’s an interesting read with strong themes of mateship, fitting in, and growing up in a contemporary Australian setting.