When Only One by Meg Gatland-Veness is a powerful story of a group of teenagers dealing with a range of life issues. You know from the prologue that something terrible is about to happen and the mystery of who and what keeps you engrossed.
The story is set in a small NSW farming town in the late 1980s.
Seventeen-year-old Sam narrates the story. He tells it with humour but there are times when the situation is very sad.
The story starts 12 months prior. Sam shares his feelings honestly as he deals with relationships and the events that are unfolding.
Sam lives with his mum and dad and four brothers, and his parents are devout Catholics. Sam works as a lifeguard after school and is training for the Iron Man competition. He has some close mates and life is good.
Emily was Sam’s best friend from kindy. They had a falling out on his 12th birthday, but she has appeared back in his life now. Her life is in chaos. Her Mum has mental health issues and her father is an alcoholic.
A new girl, Rei, starts at the school and she’s from the rich side of town. Rei and Sam click and just like that he has met his first love.
Sam’s family and friends are really great and likable characters, you want the best for them. Unfortunately, that is not going to be the case.
The story deals with teen relationships and parent-teen relationships. Domestic violence, loss, grief and family trauma feature in this book. So does charity work and how to help in your community.
This story highlights who should be involved in helping kids who are doing it hard. Adults do need to be made aware and become involved if their children’s friends ever need support.
The book is “Young Adult Fiction”. However, the story is a fantastic read for any age reader.
This is a book you can’t put down. I totally recommend it.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading When Only One by Meg Gatland-Veness. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.