Review Blog

Sep 21 2009

Half way to good by Kirsten Murphy

cover image

Penguin, 2009.
(Age range: 14-18) Recommended. As a new school year begins Anna, a first year teacher and Luke, a senior school student are unaware of the events that will occur to see their lives overlap.
Anna is faced with the prospect of teaching students only a few years her junior, a colleague who insists on making her life difficult and a home life that is less than perfect. Luke is suffering panic attacks as his father's health continues to deteriorate, his brother moves out of home and his mother tries to act as though nothing is wrong. Both characters have a friend who tries to make life more bearable and help them see the brighter side of the situations they find themselves in. Luke's mate is Alex and Anna's friend is Jacqui. Through the interaction of the main characters and their friends we learn that Anna has a widowed brother whom she is helping raise a son and Luke has a beautiful girlfriend who he no longer feels able to involve in his life. When Anna is asked to take a special class for 'at risk' students she finds Luke part of the group and witnesses first hand one of his panic attacks. The situation is compounded when Anna discovers, over dinner one night, that Luke's brother Oliver is going out with Anna's sister Georgie. The events that follow draw on the reader's emotions and give an insight into challenges and hurdles that people face in their lives and the strength of character that sees them overcome them.
This is a story well worth taking the time to read.
Tracy Glover

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