by Bill Condon. The story is narrated by seventeen-year-old Brian who has dropped out of school and is working the night shift in a milk factory. His mum is mentally ill - dangerously so - and his dad is living in a shed. The issues he has to deal with are serious and confronting, but it's not entirely doom and gloom. There's a wonderful cameraderie among his co-workers, and a tentative, blossoming romance with a fabulous girl. Still, it's an ultimately distressing novel, though sadly accurate in its portrayal of the way in which the mental health system can often let you down.
The novel packs a huge emotional punch but is easy to read. The language is simple and direct - in fact, masterful. Not a single word is redundant or out of place. This was a book I couldn't put down.
Published by UQP in 2005, No Worries was an Honour Book in the CBCA awards 2006 and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Literary Awards. I'm so glad the judges didn't miss this one. Did you?