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In a process akin to osmosis, Sofie Laguna draws us deeply into this story, breaking through our semi-permeable membrane. We are transported through the mind of young Jimmy Flick, a child who thinks in patterns, has an incredible bond with his mother and who certainly observes and experiences the visceral intensities of life in unique and often, most insightful ways.

Jimmy’s journey is tragedy infused, and I just wanted to hold him and hug him tightly, as if I were his mum, as he suffers through his turbulent stormy journey while we travel with him. and I am most confident that I would not be alone in my reactions to Jimmy’s plight, among the readers of this book.

We flow through the choppy ocean of waves, tinged with the darkest of moments which crash all around us. Yet, we also get to rise and ride on the waves of human connectedness, with glimpses of tenderness that we all crave. We are channelled through the grey froth around the edges, of family violence. We experience and feel for how the participants each react through their deepest relationships, and how love affects all.Sofie Laguna so skilfully creates these

Sofie Laguna so skilfully creates these three-dimensional characters that make us believe they are real; they earn our sympathy, our love, our anger, as well as at times, our empathy, as we realise that human beings are not infallible, life can be cruel (and tragic) at times, yet like all good authors Laguna gives us hope and the notion of redemption is explored.

Gripping throughout, tainted with the reality of life’s cruellest blows, and an end that is not predictable (for once), I can now understand just why the judges selected this book as the winner of the Miles Franklin Award in 2015.

If this book doesn’t touch your heart, I would venture to say you don’t have one!

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