Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis

How did I get the book? Magic Box Book 

Genre: Contemporary

Synopsis: Danny lives on a cattle station in the middle of the Australian outback, where everyone’s getting ready for the annual muster. But this year, everything is different: because Danny’s beloved older brother Jonny has died in a farm accident, and nobody talks about it: because his fourteen year old sister is pregnant, and about to be packed off to Alice Springs in disgrace: because his mother can’t cope, and has decided to hire a housegirl… and what they get is a wide-eyed English backpacker called Liz. She has no idea what she’s let herself in for. Neither do they.

200words (or less) review: Everybody Jam takes place a year after Danny’s older brother died and just after his sister gets found out. Danny is mad at his sister for causing more hassle in the run up to the muster (yearly cattle gathering), the first one he gets to take part in before he has to leave for boarding school. At his mother’s insistence the family hires a housegirl, Liz who knows nothing about cattle farming or making toast without burning down a kitchen.

Everybody Jam is narrated by Danny over several months as Liz learns how to live on the farm, Danny helps with the muster and the family come to terms with his sister’s pregnancy and discovering who the father is.

Ali Lewis has written a very convincing narration of a 13 year old boy, Danny’s moods are all over the place and he is so angry at times that it’s scary. Yet given his parents, in particular his father none of this is surprising.

While I never loved any of the characters in Everybody Jam, it is still a very touching story. Dealing with loss, personal growth and family in a well thought out manner.

Recommend it?

Absolutely

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