The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat

33257657All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.

Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.

Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.

Whilst on the face of it The Silent Kookaburra is classed as a thriller / suspense novel, for me I have to say it was also about coming of age; that’s one of the things that came through here for me, the move from child to teenager for Tanya, the novel’s storyteller, and the confusion that comes with it.

Tanya isn’t a happy child, and no wonder.  Her mother is depressed – the result of multiple failed pregnancies – when baby Shelley comes along, lighting up all their lives with her perfect babyness.  A new baby, though, doesn’t necessarily mean the stress and tensions from before really go away and, in many ways, the family carry on as before – with her mom displaying symptoms of OCD, Tanya overeating, her dad drinking and her nanna generally grumbling and groaning.Read More »