Sixty Seconds reviewed by Jane

Sixty Seconds is a story, based on the author’s childhood experiences, about how quickly life can change for a family.

The Brennan family have moved from Tasmania to Murwillumbah in search of a new, warmer life. They have no friends or family in their new home but are settling in. Oldest son Jarrah is finding his way in secondary school, youngest child Toby is only a toddler. Finn, the father works at home as a sculptor and Bridget works outside of home. One morning their routine changes and in sixty seconds a disaster affects the family.

The book then unfolds as each member of the family struggles to deal with guilt and loss, with uncertainty along with police and public pressure and approbation. Each family member’s story is told through alternating chapters and in distinct voices – first, second and third voice.

This is a difficult and sad book to read due to the subject matter. It took Jesse Blackadder more than forty years to be able to write about such loss and pain and the lifelong echoing from such a devastating event. However, the writing is strong and enables the reader to see many sides of the situation. The evocation of place is palpable. It is highly recommended.

Jessie Blackadder was recently interviewed by Richard Fidler on his ‘In Conversation’ series and readers may like to download the podcast.

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