Author(s): Diana Noonan
Katie struggles with anxiety and compulsive behaviour disorders. She self-harms and is seeing a counsellor. When she starts dating it only increases her anxieties. Then her parents hear her Yiayia (grandmother) is ill in Greece and may be dying. The family decide to visit. Reluctant at first Katie eventually decides to embrace the trip as a way to learn about her Greek family but the visit uncovers some dark family secrets.
A novel that explores the fragility of families, and the damage that can be wrought when unresolved issues of one generation shape the lives of the next. Also a story about hope, and the ability of families to survive and heal damaged relationships.
Sixteen-year-old Katie Papahadjis struggles with anxiety and compulsive behaviour disorders. She self-harms and sees a counsellor, but her dysfunctional family life and now a revelation about her boyfriend have only added to her feelings of rejection.
Her brooding, aloof father has never talked about his childhood in Greece, so when the family gets the call that Katie's yiayia (grandmother) is dying and they travel back, family secrets start to spill out.
Set both in Newtown, Wellington, and a small Greek village near the Albanian border, Katie is determined to get some answers about her father's past and in doing so uncovers the truth behind old family feuds and risks her own safety to help right past wrongs.
Noonan explores the fragility of families and the damage caused by the unresolved issues of one generation shaping the lives of the next in this moving and inspiring novel. It's a story of hope and healing, both for Katie's family and for her own struggle to control the taunting voices in her head.
Katie is a complex and flawed character whom I warmed to immediately. She demands perfection and she is deeply troubled, but I loved her fighting spirit and resolve to see justice done in the face of opposition.
A fantastic novel about first love, identity and family connection for age 13+
Free teachers' notes are available.