13 April, 2013


Blood - Tony Birch
From Goodreads: From the moment he saw her wrapped in a blanket at the hospital, Jesse knew that he’d be the one to look after his little sister. When their mother's appetite for destruction leads the little family into the arms of Ray Crow, Jesse sees the brooding violence and knows that, this time, the trouble is real. But Jesse is just a kid and even as he tries to save his sister, he makes a fatal error that exposes them to the kind of danger from which he has sworn to protect Rachel. As their little world is torn to pieces, the children learn that when you are lost and alone, the only thing you can trust is what's in your blood.

What I thought: After reading his two anthologies of short stories in one day, I couldn't wait to start on Birch's first novel - Blood.
Blood is the story of two kids - Jesse and his younger sister Rachel. They lie a nomadic and unsettled life with their mother Gwen. Gwen does not keep the best company  and her association with Ray leads to the three of them running across the country in the hunt for safety.
Once again Birch's writing pulls the reader right into the story. You are truly there as Jesse tries to protect his little sister. You feel Rachel's continuing devotion to Gwen and at the same time witness Jesse's growing distance from his mother and the choices she makes. I loved Jesse and Rachel - so much so I wanted to pull them out of the story and give them the loving stable home they deserved. The ending is as messy as real life, with no real resolution offered  to the reader. However, I choose to believe Jesse wins through eventually, saving him and his sister from what could be a tragic life.

Challenges: 13 in 13 Challenge, Aussie author Challenge