22 July 2009

We Don’t Live Here Anymore

by Matt Nable
Penguin Australia. Australian, Adult Other. Paperback rrp $32.95

We Don’t Live Here Anymore is all about relationships. Real, normal, down-to-earth relationships! But that doesn’t mean the story is boring or mundane, in fact, the drama behind these relationships kept me rapidly turning page over page.

Charlie Hudson is a bit weird and as a young awkward teenager he gets beaten by some local bullies whilst on the annual family holiday at the beach. When Tess Bailey comes to his rescue his life is set on a course that he never seems to be able to control… until he is older and wiser. And Tess’s kiss is what lingers in his thoughts every day, subtle, just wavering on the surface of his conscious.

Every character has their own chapters within this book and every chapter has a story to tell. All are touched by Charlie in some way or other. The stories jump from past to present to future and back again with a great ease. With each chapter under my belt, my knowledge of why the characters have been shaped the way they have gradually and tantalisingly increases.

Charlie’s father, brother, mother, next-door-neighbours, the boy that bashes him, his father’s boss and Tess are all entwined. Their stories could be about everyday people. The famous ex-footballer whose son just doesn’t have the same calibre; the man that spends half his life trying to forget a teenager’s mistake; or the girl that leaves the small town to make it big in the city.

If you like real-life puzzles and want a book to draw you in, then We Don’t Live Here Anymore will live up to your expectations. I loved it and look forward to more of Nable’s writing.

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