'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 3 February 2011

Review: Big River Little Fish

Every now and again you read a book that takes you by surprise. Surpasses your expectations. This is one of them.

Every now and again you read a book where you are in complete awe of the writing. Yep, this is one of them.

Set in Australia in the mid 50's along the Murray River in South Australia, Big River Little Fish tells the story of 15-year-old Tom Downs. Tom is different. He is a young boy trying to fit into a world that doesn't seem to have a place for him. He was told he came out backwards when his mother gave birth to him, which was probably the last thing that made sense for Tom.
Tom sees the world differently to those around him. He is a gentle soul with an affinity with the Murray River. It's Tom against the world, along with his friend Hannah, who calls him Mot (Tom backwards). She understands him. Around them, the Murray River banks are rising and set to burst. While the locals know it’s coming and see the signs, Tom feels the urgency of the river rising is a sort of warning. Is he about to lose everything?

Belinda Jeffrey's characters are so real, so much so that you feel you already know them. You understand their worries, their grief, their woes and you are right there alongside them.

I really don't want to say too much as there is a fantastic twisty twist at the end. It is not very often that after reading a book I want to go back and read it again to see all the clues I missed to have that "Oh yeah!" moment.

An utter joy to read. Do it.

Title: Big River, Little Fish
Author: Belinda Jeffrey
Publisher: University of Queensland Press, $19.95
Publication Date: 30 August, 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780702238505
For ages: 15+
Type: Young Adult