Engaging for the freshness of voice this ‘issues’ book is about a young girl faced with responsibilities well beyond her age. Told from Indigo’s point of view, the story weaves together events from school and home life into a breathless, first-person narrative, at once sad, touching and humorous.
11-year-old Indigo is in the last year of primary school. She has never known her father and lives with her mother, Anna, baby half-sister Misti, and Max, Mum’s boyfriend and father of Misti. Though family life is precarious, she finds consolation through daydreams and an unquestioning friendship with her peer, Jo, whom she’s known from her early days at school. Home life is increasingly unbearable as the shouting and screaming between Mum and Max escalate. After a particularly violent row, Mum, her face black and blue with bruises, leaves, taking the girls with her. Mum gradually collapses into depression, leaving Indigo frightened and in charge. Running parallel to the chaos in Indigo’s family life is the upheaval at school as Jo turns against her.
By the end of the story, the reader recognizes that Indigo has grown emotionally and that her passivity and helplessness in the face of adults have given way to a greater sense of self. The book concludes on a happier note as the promise of a brighter, more secure future awaits Indigo, Mum and Misti. Written in an easy, natural style, this is a gripping, ultimately rewarding read.