Waaaaaa! I’ve finished it. Want more!
Ok. So that is the sort of review that you write at 1.30am. This is the review you write the next day.
The Whole of My World revolves around three things: football – Australian Rules; family; and Shelley.
Shelley Brown is starting at a new school. Shelley Brown has a secret that she doesn’t want anyone else to know. And Shelley Brown is footy mad – in particular, she is mad for the Glenthorn Footy Club.
Part of the appeal of this novel is not knowing what it is that has made Shelley leave her old school; what has happened to make her and her Dad so distant and afraid of their feelings, afraid of even speaking. Sometimes, it’s the stuff that we hide from other people, the stuff that makes us feel vulnerable, that reveals what we really are. Sometimes that stuff is so scary that it’s really hard to own it – and even more scary when you are young, and feeling alone.
Nicole Hayes captures that scary, vulnerable feeling, of being young and not entirely in control of your life. That feeling of being impregnable, unstoppable, on top of the world, and so right that everyone else is wrong. And yet knowing that there’s nothing at all in your life that is under control, and deny that knowledge.
A wonderful part of the story, for me, captured how I felt about football as girl. Committed, passionate and obsessive about the players, the stats, the games, and the aftermath.
The Whole of My World is the sort of story that you want to keep reading so that you can see how the main character’s life has changed and succeeded. Because that’s all that you are hoping for.