Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude
Maureen McCarthy is one of Australia’s best writers for teens and young adults, and Queen Kat is a fantastic example of her skill in drawing the reader into a fully-fleshed, vibrant world with her characters.
Katerina, Carmel and Jude have just finished their final year of high school in a rural Victorian town, and are ready to begin their lives. They are as different as three young women can be, but somehow they all end up sharing a house in inner Melbourne as they embark on their first year out of school. Katerina is the princess: a daughter of the squatocracy, and a law student. Jude is the child of a Chilean activist killed in Pinochet’s coup, and has grown up best friends with her bohemian mother. She is determined to be a doctor like her father. Carmel is the unlikely third, a painfully shy and overweight country girl whose first love and calling is music.
McCarthy divides the book into three separate sections, narrated by Carmel, Jude and Kat respectively. We are won over – even by the initially unlikeable Kat. Each of the girls has her own clear, strong voice, and the trials and tribulations, losses and triumphs of each will have the reader warming to these three dynamic, sympathetic young women. It is a novel which captures the best and worst things about those early years of adulthood, and gives us a refreshing, honest look at the strata of Australian society.
Review by Sophia Barnes.
Taking our cue from the National Year of Reading 2012, which you can read all about at www.love2read.org.au, we’re having our very own National Year of Writing 2012, aka 366 Days of Writing.
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