Friday 15 October 2021

The Break

The Break by Phillip Gwynne (Penguin Books) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9780143789383

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Sixteen-year-old Taj has grown up with the famous Bali surf at his back door so he’s had an idyllic childhood, except for one thing – his father was a drug-smuggler and has been in the infamous Kerobokan Jail for the past ten years. As this story opens, his father is scheduled to be put to death. Of course, this is frightening for Taj and so he thinks what he can do about it. Nothing. Except for busting his dad out of jail and taking him back to Australia. When he succeeds – a breath-taking ride – he and his father are on the run. It’s then that Taj uncovers startling truths about his family, in fact about most of the people in his life.

This novel for young adults aged 14+ years, manages to capture Taj’s personality as well as the surfing culture of Bali. It also captures Taj’s confusion as events unfold and time runs out. This is a fast-paced rite-of-passage which is up to its neck in the complexities of politics and the terrifying consequences of breaking the rules

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