Growing up in the suburbs in the 1970s, young Jake’s concerns are touchingly ordinary, extending little further than wondering how he’ll fit in at his new school and whether he’ll ever get to play cricket for Australia. His summer days are spent at the pool and footy field with dependable mate Robbie and spirited neighbour Lucy.
Their group dynamic is slightly thrown when a new boy arrives in Rose Street, a skinny Scottish kid called Rory. Despite Rory being rubbish at cricket and football, Jake and Robbie soon decide he is all right, swayed by his excellent slingshot and fishing skills and willingness to give bullies a taste of their own medicine.
The biggest presence in Jake’s young life though is Harry, his chain-smoking, hard-drinking single mother, a hard-bitten criminal barrister who admits she doesn’t hang out with anyone respectable. She is by far the story’s most vivid and interesting character, with a wry sense of humour and a soft spot for underdogs and battlers.
Full review at: The Sydney Morning Herald