looks back to the 1970s and 1980s when he was growing up in
Queensland. The book, which is beautifully written, focuses on
McInnes's parents (especially his father), his brother, his three
sisters, his aunt and, of course, McInnes himself. It is a
startlingly honest account with no attempt to soften the corners or
to smudge out all those things that the passage of time has labelled
handles the vernacular with a delightful sense of ease, which gives
the story a definite authenticity – nothing is forced; nothing
jars. Nothing feels 'out of place' or uncomfortable. It is obvious
that this is a language that McInnes fully understands.
situations, as well as the relationships between the characters in
the book, are skilfully described, and the book is speckled with a
great deal of humour – in fact, there are many places where the
term laugh-out-loud definitely applies.
well as humour, there is also a sense of the serious and an astute
understanding of the emotions that can often be hidden beneath the
surface of any seemingly ludicrous situation. At no point, however,
does the book descend into sentimentality. McInnes manages to convey
the deep emotional links within a family as well as the extent to
which those links can then stretch into the next generation and even
is much in the book that will spark recognition, especially among
readers who grew up in the same period or even earlier. It was a joy
to read, and I highly recommend it.