Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Posse / Kate Welshman

Summary - Amy and her best friends - the Posse - are at year 11 camp and they're bored. In the scorching summer heat, sparks start to fly. Clare and Amy might be best friends, but they're sniping as if they're enemies. Camp leader Bevan is singling Amy out for attention, and Clare's jealous. Amy's feeling reckless enough to do something major . . . In one night everything will change. Friendships will be tested and broken; careers will hang in the balance; and everything Amy knows about her friends and her family will be ripped away. What really happened when Clare disappeared that night? Who's telling the truth? And when things go too far, should you save your friends - or save yourself?

Review - Posse is the debut release of Australian author, Kate Welshman. I was immediately attracted to Posse due to Astred Hicks' beautiful cover work, I was very excited to get my mitts on this title. To be honest I was a little surprised once I started reading though. I has presumed this might be the Australian take on Mean Girls...I was oh so very wrong.

First of all, the protagonist Amy is a lesbian. We don't see this realisation as she's known for quite awhile and it's generally accepted (or blissfully ignored) by her family and friends. I found it very refreshing that Amy is so at peace with herself, it's just everyone else that troubles her. Her family is fragmented and troubling. Her mother and grandmother are controlling, brain washing, bowl hair cut wearing, man hating shrews whose mood swings make her home life hellish. Her father is a somewhat spineless, womaniser with a new life complete with trophy wife. But in all this chaos, Amy knows she can count on her dysfunctional group of friends who are fully fleshed out characters. In fact, nearly every character you come across in this tale is beautifully rounded without bogging down the narrative.

What starts out as a dead boring camp in fiery temperatures becomes friend versus friend when Amy gets herself in over her head. Amy sticks to her guns and suffers the consequences. She's uncompromising, strong, conflicted, immeasurably complex and vastly entertaining. At its core, Posse is about Amy finding an inner strength that she wasn't sure she had and would you know it, it's not the guy that crossed the line.

It's an impressive debut by Welshman, a real page turner. Amy isn't like any YA protagonist I have come across in my reading, a quality which I loved. Some elements tied into others and the remaining elements were left hanging which I enjoyed. Welshman's experience in the Family Courts is extremely evident in the realistic depiction of troubled home lives, ugly marriage breakdowns and sexual harassment. It adds much weight to a story that possesses a lot of humour in it's accurate representation of the waves in teenage friendships. It's a title that's sure to get your blood boiling, your stomach shaking with laughter and your beliefs unsettled. Thought provoking, Posse is a great read.

Published: 1st May 2009
Format: Paperback, 278 pages
Publisher: Random House
Origin: Australia


Khy said...

Sometimes I want to visit Australia just so I can buy a bunch of Aussie author books.

Shalonda said...

Ok, I totally want this now!!!