Review Blog

Jun 05 2009

Posse by Kate Welshman

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Random House, Sydney, 2009; 278 p.ISBN 978 1 74166 335 8

Posse is targeted at teenage girls with the story revolving around girls from a Sydney private girl's school on a year 11 camp.Amy, the main character, comes from a split family and lives with her mother and grandparents.The grandma has a narcissistic personality disorder and is a control freak over everyone.The vagaries of teenage friendships are examined closely through the school setting. Sixteen year old Army is having a lesbian relationship with a younger student but also has a group of five peers, her posse, through which much of her daily interactions take place.

At the school camp both Amy and her friend Clare are attracted to Bevan, a good looking instructor (and trainee minister) and this causes some jealousy. Both strive for his attention and end up alone in his room at different times.Allegations of sexual impropriety are made and the story follows how Amy's friends, parents and the teachers react to this.

This first novel of Kate Welshman, appears a bit contrived and seems to take quite a while to reach a conclusion. However, the themes of sexual experimentation and teenage life should prove popular with secondary school aged girls. Could possibly be used for a middle school text or for health / personal development lessons examining the adult - junior relationship issue, responsibilities and ethics.

Kay Haarsma (Salisbury East HS)

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