Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore
Her mother has passed away, and now Dylan has to leave her small rural home town of Beyen, in the company of her mother’s boyfriend, Pat. Dylan and Pat drive towards the ocean and the boat that Dylan is convinced will take her to Paris, in the country where her mother was born.
The road there is winding, hot and dusty; beer salesman Pat drops in on pubs along the way to check on his accounts, and to play the pokies too. Dylan and Pat are locked into their own separate grief, and don’t understand each other most of the time. Fourteen-year-old Dylan’s way of being in the world, and her unique internal logic, chafe against everything around her, leading to a string of accidents and incidents that test Pat’s patience. When they reach their unexpected destination, Dylan comes face to face with part of her family and a side of herself she’s never wanted to own.
This wonderful Australian debut paints a whirling, raging, intense portrait of a teen who experiences the world in ways that she struggles to communicate to others. The reader is taken deep into Dylan’s mind and heart and senses, in ways that are sometimes deeply humorous, and at other times deeply painful. Layers of ideas about race, identity, grief and family run through this book, but the focus never wavers from Dylan’s funny and profound voice. This is a really moving, original and thought-provoking novel. For ages 13+.