Story and illustrations by Ia Uaro.
Humour. Socio fiction. Coming-of-age. Love story.
2013 Finalist in Humor
By Stephanie Dagg, author, editor, reviewer.
This is an excellent, very well written book.
"Sydney's Song" by Ia Uaro is a love story and emotional journey. The
heroine Sydney, sharing her name with the city she lives in, takes on a temporary
job. It is a tough one, dealing with customers phoning the 1300500 transport
helpline and anyone who has ever dealt with the general public knows how
dispiriting that can be. Sydney faces tough customers and very strict employers
who whisk away bonuses at the drop of a hat. However, she is working alongside
a lively bunch of youngsters. She is not quite on their wavelength--she is better
off than most of them and refuses to be drawn into the drinking and partying
culture of her peers--but she is not too standoffish. She is genuine and firmly
believes in her choice and her friends respect that, although they find it puzzling.
Home life is tough as Sydney suddenly finds herself pretty much abandoned by
her parents and only has her trusty dog to rely on. Then, against her better
judgement, she starts a courtship with Peter which brings a lot more hurdles into
her life, including animosity from both sets of parents and learning to cope and
live with disability.
"Sydney's Song" is a robust novel. Sydney is a tough girl, taking everything
that life throws at her on the chin, and still managing to smile, although hard at
times. She never loses her sense of humor, and that is the pattern of this book.
You can be nearly in tears one moment from the power of the writing and the
unfairness of Sydney's life, but the next moment you will be laughing at
something absurd that happens or at a wry observation by Sydney. The story is a
mixture of fact and fiction, based on the author's real experiences, but
adding plenty of imagination too. It is a love story, it is courage under fire, and it is
hugely entertaining. Nothing is predictable in the story, as in life, and the message
it carries is to seize new experiences and make the most of them. The book is
well-written and reading it is a thoroughly enjoyable, if occasionally humbling,
"Balancing a full range of emotions, Ia Uaro brings Sydney and a full cast of characters to life while handling difficult situations and topics in a wonderfully delicate manner."