Allayne L. Webster has written another knock out book, The Centre of My Everything. The author of A Cardboard Palace, one of the best books I read in 2017, has again grabbed at the rawness of life in this book. Pulling at the many disadvantages and privileges that live alongside each other every day and bringing them together to show that we are all just humans seeking our way in life.
Set in a small town and focussing on four young people, The Centre of My Everything looks at racism, wealth, poverty, alcoholism, suicide, family dynamics, sexual assault, drugs and relationships. Justin has returned to the country town he fled when he was old enough to. His mother had suicided in his teens, and his father is an alcoholic who doesn’t even recognise his son. Justin has returned to get his life on track; instead he discovers truths about his mother and himself through an accident he is involved in. Corey is great at footy, but doesn’t have self esteem or confidence, nor is he given a chance to prove himself in the small town. But he does have lovely, kind values which shine throughout the book. Margo wants to get out of the town. She is an Aboriginal girl who faces racism daily in the town and feels out of place. Following the crowd one night takes her to places that she has tried hard to avoid. Tara is the town beauty; however she would just like her mother to notice her and show her love. Instead Tara seeks love from anyone who can offer it, which ends in sexual exploitation and hurt.
Each of the characters is full of love and energy that they are seeking to use for good. The characters are developed throughout the book and continue to develop, learn and grow with each other.
The Centre of My Everything is not one to be put down, so make sure you have a whole night to read it.