This is a gentle tale of a family overflowing with love. Justine and Perry are sister and brother – twins. They have their fair share of problems. Mum left years ago. Dad, who has been a sole parent for most of the twins’ lives, contracts cancer just before their 18th birthday. Perry has ‘single-minded boy syndrome’. And Justine is Perry’s main carer. There’s plenty going on in this novel.
The relationship between ‘Just Jeans’ and ‘Pez’ is equal in love, but not in responsibility. “Perry has a brain condition that can cause him to feel anxious or upset in different places and circumstances. He has trouble with people – mixing with them and communicating with them – and it sometimes results in inappropriate behaviours. I appreciate your understanding and patience.” Justine understands that it’s now her job to look out for Perry, but she has no idea of the toll that it has taken on her life so far, and how it will affect her future.
Perry seems to be living in his own world of being an ‘expert ear basher’. His obsessions are Jackie Chan movies, earthquakes, and Ogopogo. But as the story progresses we see that Perry understands more than Justine knows, and he is able to sense seismic changes – in both the earth and the world around him.
The dual threads of this novel are very well done. Each sibling has a clear voice, and the nuances of their personalities shines through. Their relationship is realistic and their journey believable. Initially, I felt disappointed in the conclusion, but as I’ve thought over the story and the characters since finishing the book a few days ago I’ve realised that the ending was actually perfectly natural.
A very enjoyable read.