This time set in Queenland with more of a YA feel to it.
Gap won the 2013 Queensland Literary Award for Jessen as Best Emerging Author.
A few years ago I would never have thought that verse novels were my thing. But thanks to some fabulous Aussie children’s writers like Steven Herrick and Emma Cameron I have been converted.
Jessen also cites Dorothy Porter as one her inspirations; another award winning Aussie poet well-known for verse novels, who I have recently ‘discovered’.
Jessen’s novel is a story about the young people who fall through the cracks in our society (which does seem to be a common theme for the verse novels that I’ve read so far.)
Ana’s life has been spent on the run, on the wrong side of the tracks. But in an effort to help her kid sister from falling into the same trap, Ana cleans herself up and takes over caring for her sister when their dysfunctional mother kicks her out too. But things don’t always go to plan.
An old school romance is rekindled when the female cop who knocks on Ana’s door one night turns out to be an old love. But can she save Ana from her past, her mother and years of bad associations?
I pile in
for a quick exit
Indie grabs me
demands a reason
‘Ana’ she says
holding both my arms
‘Are you in trouble
is that it?’
I can’t leave
what about my exams?
‘Shit’ I sigh
sinking into the couch
head in hands
wraps an arm
is this what I call
for my kid sister?
Not as powerful or as raw with gritty emotion as Porter’s work (although to my mind, Porter has set the bar very high!), but Gap is a very worthy attempt by an emerging young writer. I’ll be curious to see what Jessen does next.