Sixteen year old Amber’s gap year to save money for her Uni fees finds her getting trained in aged care for a job in her town’s nursing home. Surprisingly, she settles into the role very well. There she encounters the gorgeous, enigmatic and damaged Jack, to whom she immediately feels deeply attracted. He’s living with his demons, but living is not what he’s doing.
Curving and dipping through flashbacks and present happenings, we see the good and the unpleasant side of nursing homes; the attitudes of staff, treatment, and procedures. I was moved to tears by the discarding of the elderly by family members and their selfish reasons for placing them there.
When Amber’s dear friend is coerced into going there after a fall by her family, Amber forgets the rules in favour of the human factor. This sharply astute novel of love, friendship, compassion and truth, will remain with the reader long after the cover closes.
Title: The One and Only Jack Chant
Author: Rosie Borella
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $15.99 RRP
Publication Date: 26 February 2014
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction