Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Archive for July, 2018

Book Reviews

July 21, 2018

He is Mine

He Is Mine and I Have No Other
Rebecca O’Connor
ISBN: 9781786892591
230 pp
Canongate 2018

A teenage girl (fifteen years old) in rural Ireland at the close of the twentieth century, Lani struggles to make sense of the people and the world around her and how it all relates to her. Fairly standard fare for a novel about – and for – young adults.

Rebecca O’Connor has crafted a fine work with rounded, believable characters. Lani tells her story in her own words and describes vicissitudes of dealing with parents, girls at school, rules, expectations and the boy she decides is hers, even before she has properly met him.

“He used to walk by our house every day at the same time, up past Molly’s house to the cemetery.” (more…)

Book Reviews

July 6, 2018


Brendan Lawley
ISBN: 9781925603583
309 pp
Text Publishing 2018

To an older, white male living in a ‘genteel’ suburb of Melbourne (Australia), some other suburbs and some rural towns can look and sound like a foreign country. Bonesland unfolds in such a ‘foreign’ setting.

Most of the characters are teenagers, in themselves members of a foreign group to this reader. The narrator, a sixteen-year-old white boy, ‘suffers’ from a form of OCD and may be somewhere on the autism spectrum or have mild Asperger’s. He has an older brother and a collection of disparate friends. One of these, Jimmy, mostly talks like an American rapper. Throw into this an older boy who relentlessly bullies Bones and an African-American female exchange student, and Brendan Lawley creates a potent first novel. (more…)