The Nest by Paul Jennings
The Nest by Paul Jennings. Pub. Penguin Books,2008
I really looked forward to reading this book as Paul Jennings has essentially been a short story writer, par excellence, who has brought reading to 100,s of thousands of children.
Can he write a young adult novel? Well yes he can, and he does it by having his main character, Robin, as an aspiring short story writer writing a relevant short story between divisions in the book. So we get a novel and a few short stories as well.
Robin is a teenage boy living with his father up in the Snowy Mountains area in Australia. Robin never met his mother and he relies on his father for information about her. He does possess her wedding ring and a hairbrush that she owned much to the chagrin of his father who has a hostile view of his ex wife and tells Robin him that his mother deserted them both because of him. This cuts Robin to the core and he is determined to find the truth.
Robin is haunted by dreams in which he is killing his father with an icepick and has other demons that he has to reconcile. He also has relationships with two girls, Charlie and Verushka which do not go well and he has some growing up to do.
Jennings is a master writer and he adds a mystery to the story which keeps you guessing till the end. Suitable for secondary school students especially boys.