Juke-box jive ISBN: 9780340656990
Published by Hodder, 1996
In 1950's Sydney, Alan is miserable because he has been sent to live with grim Aunt Jessie while his mum goes through a 'bad patch'. His two older brothers and a sister have been parcelled out to other relatives. Aunt Jessie can at least cook, but Alan finds that of little comfort. He misses his mum desperately and suspects that she has gone off with a new boyfriend. When Aunt Jessie takes on the Boomerang Milkbar at Coogee Beach, things begin to look up, and when Alan convinces her to install a juke-box, the milkbar becomes a favourite hang-out for the local teenagers. Aunt Jessie meets Ted and begins to turn almost human. When they decide to marry, they want to adopt Alan, but he refuses. Much as he has learned to love them, he must wait for his mum. Against all odds (he now knows she is expecting a baby and plans to stay up north, deserting her original family) he still believes she will come for him. Very moving in the portrayal of the feckless mother and of Alan's belief in her.