About The Book
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate anyone.
But Julia’s eleven-year-old son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone. And bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy.
Then, one Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
Why do we love to put labels to everyone?
It is not a healthy way to see the world and we make the life to the children really difficult, they have to fit in a mould no matter what and the ones who don’t fit are bullied or scorned. Is this the way we want our little ones to grow up?
This is a fiction story, but it felt so real that it was like being part of the story. We all have a family that we love and take care of, and we know that they don’t always fit in the perfect boxes that society wants us to fit. Can you imagine if the one who doesn’t fit is one of your children, what would you do?
I was really connected with this story. Julia Curtis is a busy mum, with 3 children to take care and love, while her husband is always away working. She loves all of her children, but also knows that one of them doesn’t fit on the society label, he is “unusual” and when an incident happens at school her world will start to crumble around her.
This had not been an easy read for me, I could feel all of Julia’s emotions in my skin; the despair, the sadness, the pain but on top of that the love for her children and the need to protect them. It was so many times that I wanted to cry and hug my little one to protect from the world!
I know that this book will not attract everyone, it is too real and painful to read, but this is the only way that we can change the world, by seeing what we are doing wrong and trying to change it.
Ready for the “Unusual Boy”?
About The Author
Fiona Higgins is the author of three previous novels – Fearless, Wife on the Run and The Mothers’ Group – and a memoir, Love in the Age of Drought. Her novels have been translated internationally in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Estonia. Outside of writing, Fiona has tertiary qualifications in the humanities, social sciences and Indonesian Studies, and a longstanding career in the Australian not-for-profit sector. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with organisations specializing in international development, youth at risk, rural and regional issues and youth mental health. She is a founding director of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), which inspires effective philanthropy and provides education and practical support for individuals and advisers. A passionate advocate for positive education strategies to support youth mental wellbeing, Fiona is a volunteer Crisis Support Worker on Australia’s national crisis and suicide hotline, Lifeline. She lives in Sydney and enjoys ocean swimming, early morning runs and arguing about Monopoly with her three children.