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@duffythewriter review of sixty seconds Jesse Blackadder

Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder – Beauty & Lace Book Club Review

Inspired by the author’s own family experience.

The Brennans – parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby – have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart to subtropical Murwillumbah. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple weatherboard, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame?

Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah – his innocence lost – faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

Sixty Seconds is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope

What Did I Think Of Sixty Seconds?

Sixty Seconds is all it takes for a family of four to become a family of three. Parents Finn and Bridget have two wonderful children. Jarrah, who is navigating the complicated world of adolescence and little Toby, a bright, gregarious toddler. This tight little family has upped and left Hobart to start fresh in Murwillumbah. They are all adjusting to this sea change and trying to forget the reasons they left Hobart to start afresh.

A sudden tragedy occurs which cracks the foundations of this normal Australian family. Loneliness, guilt, resentment, blame, and lies weave their way into this family dynamic. Is the love that is left enough to see them through?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll focus on Jesse Blackadder’s writing. I am aware that tragedy in Blackadders past was the trigger for this novel and wonder if that’s why there is such sensitivity and respect with the handling of the main characters. The incredibly descriptive prose drew a picture of the family home so clear, I could imagine the garden, the layout of the house and the workshop where Finn worked on his metalwork sculptures. I found the book an addictive read and my heart, in particular, reached out to Jarrah as he navigates not only a confusing and scary teenage world, but also a family on the brink of crumbling completely. This could happen to any Australian family.

4 out of 5 from me. An engaging read.

Thank you to Beauty & Lace Book Club and Harper Collins for a review copy of Sixty Seconds.

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Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder