People like you and me, Jonah, we drag down the price of everything we touch.
Life for Jonah and Manx means fishing for mullet at the lake, watching their school mates party on Friday night and wishing they had the courage to talk to Ella and Rachel.
But now their lakeside town is being sold off, life doesn't seem so simple. Manx holds a grudge against the wealthy blow-ins from the city and Jonah just wants his parents to stop arguing.
One memorable night at the lake will change everything.
When Jonah was a child everything seemed perfect. His mother was the prettiest girl in town, his father the loveable surf rat who captured her heart. Fed by a creek, the local lake used to feed directly to the ocean and Jonah and his best friend Manx could take a tinny right out over the breakwater to the waves.
Over the years things have changed: Manx’s parents have separated and Jonah’s seem not far behind; a huge storm dumped a levee of sand across the mouth of the lake, ‘damming the lake, and damning the town’; and Jonah’s home is dying a slow death, local businesses falling victim to the thriving beachside town of Balarang Bay 10 kilometres away.
At Jonah’s school the gulf between the haves and the have-nots is widening. Jonah and Manx have an uneasy truce with Patrick, the son of the local real estate mogul, but tensions are simmering and it won’t take much to bring things to a head.
Another Night in Mullet Town explores Jonah’s world in sparse, but beautifully rendered prose. Each verse chapter is a self-contained snapshot in time - a memory, a photograph, a moment, a realisation - but bound together they create the story of Jonah’s grief at losing the only home he’s ever known, and Manx’s crusade to even the odds against them.
This verse novel is a great vehicle for initiating discussions about class differences, the way progress can affect communities in positive and negative ways, the importance of holding on to history, and the value of communities. I’d recommend it for readers 14+.
Reviewed by Lian