Impulsive, generous, warm-hearted, Eva is one of Judi Curtin’s most appealing heroines. Her own life was turned upside-down when her father lost his job – the story is told in Eva’s Journey – the family had to move house, and Eva had to change her lifestyle considerably. The experience taught her that it’s not money or possessions that make life good, but friends and family, and that doing something kind or helpful for someone else brings its own special rewards. This is a lovely message and, in each of the Eva books, Judi Curtin wraps it up in a lively, funny adventure, keeping saccharine, and any sense of worthiness at bay.
In this story, there are three people for Eva to help: Aretta, a new girl at school; Gigi, Ella’s gran who has had to move into a care home and is missing her independence, and her dog; and Maggie, her friend’s mum, who needs some help to make her garden wheel-chair friendly. The problems they face are real and in Aretta’s case very serious indeed: she and her dad are living in a detention centre while seeking asylum. Eva tackles them as she always does, positively, with good-humour and boundless energy. Her enthusiasm is contagious and, with the help of friends, family and the wider community, she works some small miracles. Readers will be inspired too and will finish the book with a warm glow, and the belief that pretty much anything is possible if you put your heart in it.
Read our interview with Judi Curtin.