English / Australia
Are you seeing me?
North Sydney, NSW: Woolshed Press, 2014. – 274 p.
Twins | Autism | Road trip | Independence | Earthquake
Reading age: 14+
White Ravens issue: 2015
Australian author Darren Groth has been living in Canada since 2007 and publishes his books on both sides of the Pacific. His latest teenage novel was inspired by his own teenage twins – one of whom was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the book, nineteen-year-old twins Justine and Perry embark on a road trip through Canada one year after their father’s death from cancer. Justine has since been the sole carer of her disabled brother and they both seek to create a memorable trip before their lives change completely. It’s supposed to be an adventure, a shared experience, but also an attempt to re-establish a relationship with their estranged mother. One main theme of this quiet and touching novel is the power of sibling love versus the longing for independence. As both siblings tell part of the tale – each with their own distinctive voice that draws in readers immediately – two things become obvious: First appearances can be deceiving and “we cannot live in a world of one”.