‘Laurinda’ by Alice Pung is about a 15 year old girl named Lucy Lam, a Chinese, Vietnamese born refugee living with her family in Australia. Her father works long shifts in a factory and her mother sews clothes in the family’s garage. When Lucy isn’t at school she’s at home helping her mum or looking after The Lamb, her two year old brother.
Lucy wins an Equal Access Scholarship for year 10 to Laurinda, an exclusive girls private school. Here Lucy’s eyes are opened to a new world. The school is run by a trio of girls, with influential parents, also known as The Cabinet. These girls control their classmates and torment their teachers. There appears to be no end to which these girls won’t go to, to preserve their authority. They are cunning, sly and manipulative. Yet somehow, Lucy is drawn to this group and finds herself becoming one of The Cabinet.
Lucy writes of her year at Laurinda as one big letter to a dear friend called Linh. She describes her experiences, thoughts and feelings. As a reader we watch Lucy mature into a young adult. A true coming of age book that most of us can relate to.