AUTHOR = SUE LAWSON
GENRE = FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, MENTAL HEALTH
INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10, 11
When we first meet Pan she is an angry young girl who is being delivered into a foster home, clearly against her own wishes. So the reader is instantly intrigued: why has a judge ordered Pan into foster care? Where is her own family? And why does she shudder every time the name Morgan is mentioned? We follow Pan as she struggles to settle in with her new family, attending a new school and making new enemies (and one friend, Hunter). Gradually we learn more about Pan: including the fact that she has some physical injuries. How did these happen? Why doesn’t she trust Hunter?
Pan’s foster mother suggests that writing to her sister (Morgan) might bode well with the judge’s decision about Pan’s future. And so the structure of the book changes: interspersed between the story of her current life are Pan’s letters to Morgan which describe her new life and recall pleasant memories of their life as young children.
And after each of these letters is a chapter from this past but told from Morgan’s point of view. So gradually we learn that Morgan’s view of their childhood is very different from Pan’s, for Morgan spent much of her time shielding Pan from the truth of their family situation. Gradually these story strands come crashing together as Pan faces the reality of her childhood and the consequences this brings for her current life. This is a compelling and moving novel from Sue Lawson, an absolute page turner for older readers.
This novel was shortlisted for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary award.
Highly Recommended (dma) *****