‘In a couple of hours they would wake up and find us gone, far away, so as not to remind them of their pain and what our family now meant to this town’ (p. 2)
The novel begins with a journey, both physical and emotional; the Brennans are physically moving houses and towns, but also moving into new, unfamiliar territory. The leaving of ‘home’ is synonymous with the leaving of what id known, familiar and comfortable, in a literal and metaphorical sense.
Chapter 1 ‘I hadn’t decided if I was playing rugby this year. In fact, I hadn’t decided if I was playing ever again. I didn’t know if I could without my brother. Things just weren’t that simple anymore.’ (p. 10)
Rugby makes up much of Tom’s own self-identity – he’s reluctance and indecision to play again signifies the uncertain period he’s going through. Tom is forced to re-define himself without his brother for guidance, of whom he lived in the shadow of for his entire life. He’s now confronted with the task of negotiating the adult world, on his own. Without his brother, and without Mumbilli, Tom feels he can’t continue with rugby, meaning he’s lost much of his identity.
‘Tell someone who cares, Tom.’ (Kylie, p. 15)
Kylie and Tom’s relationship is breaking down. This quote represents not only Tom and Kylie’s relationship being in turmoil, but also the entire families. The loss of Daniel, and comfort of their hometown, stresses the family because of the great loss of identity they’ve encountered.
Chapter 3 ‘You see Fin was changing, growing and somehow that altered things between Daniel and him.’ (p. 33)
Fin is physically changing, growing into an adult, and this is affecting his relationship with people, particularly Daniel. This quote reinforces the fact that growth and development is inevitable, although comes with pressure and external influences.
‘His legs had