The Whole Bright Year
Rating: 3 / 5
Debra Oswald’s novel deals with issues relevant to all parents—children growing up and wanting freedom, the fear of them finding the wrong friends, and helplessness in the face of teenage rebellion.
Set self-consciously in the ’70s (perhaps because with today’s mobile phones there would be fewer problems), its setting on a fruit farm conveys a strong sense of place and there are some memorable characters.
The plot verges on the unlikely at times—some of Zoe’s actions need more explanation and there are coincidences that stretch credulity.
Given what has transpired, there is something a little too easy about the final resolution. However, the book holds the interest of the reader from start to finish.