It’s 1969 and Sharnie has just started highschool. She feels like her world is changing too fast and in directions she doesn’t understand. Man is about to walk on the moon. War is raging in Vietnam and here in Australia opinions about local involvement in the conflict are sometimes violently polarised. The people she loves seem at war with each other and she’s not sure what to think.
A new verse novel from Lorraine Marwood is something to be savoured. Devoured and then reflected upon. Revisited. Fast and slow. This, for me, is the strength of verse novels in general, and Lorraine’s work particularly. Verse novels offer as rich a story as any novel but cut away description and allow access to readers who struggle with prose texts. They offer all readers the opportunity to experience the best of poetry, with line breaks adding extra depth of meaning. They show young poets (and prose writers) that plain language, arranged in the best way, is as powerful as fancy words. Sharnie’s uncertainties and determinations drive this novel and bring to life a tumultuous time in our history as surely as they explore a girl exploring who she is and who she wants to be. Perfect for upper-primary, early secondary readers. Out February 21.