I’m on a roll with great books at the moment. The latest is All I Ever Wanted, a gritty, riveting coming of-age-story by Vikki Wakefield.
It’s a gutsy book about family, identity, and the realisation that love comes in all shapes and sizes, told through the eyes of Mim as she approaches her 17th birthday.
It’s unsentimental, but even though Mim’s world is rough and tumble, it’s not brutal. There’s no dressing up the poverty and criminality in her world, and yet there’s still dignity in lives of the eccentric and dangerous characters around her (well, most of them. Some are just arseholes).
But in her desperation to get away from everything that makes her who she is, she discovers a startling – and liberating – new way to view her life and those in it.
All I Ever wanted is tightly constructed and very well written. I loved Mim’s journey, and her narrative voice was so compelling I read this in two sittings. It’s Australian, it’s brilliant, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Check out a more detailed synopsis here