Review Blog

Feb 19 2010

About a girl by Joanne Horniman

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Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781742371443.
(Age 15-18) Highly recommended. Since she was six years old, Anna has known she prefers girls. But it is not until she is living on her own and working in a bookshop far north of her hometown Canberra that she falls for Flynn. Not just smitten, as she has been before, but in this guitar-playing barista she finds true love. Of course, first love is never going to be simple, particularly when there's the whole conundrum of same sex pairing.
Told in three sections, the first chapters deal directly with the physical and emotionally complex details of forming a relationship. How Anna and Flynn reconcile their divergent trajectories is the stuff of the concluding section. And though the middle part of the book seems a jerk out of the present, it is the tracing of Anna's immediate past - of her close friendship with Michael, her attempt to succeed at tertiary studies, and her handling of her parents' separation - that provides a useful breather from the intensity of the opening, and adds a depth to understanding of the first-person protagonist that resounds till the end.
Prize-winning author Horniman is adept a reaching into the heart of feelings and pushing on through past those uncomfortable places into an awareness of greater understanding. Definite a 15+ rating but highly recommended.
Kate Deller-Evans

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