Growing Up: The Best Feeling of All

Today’s novel had TBYL Reviewer Narelle, tripping down memory lane…

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The Best Feeling of All by Jack Ellis (Arcadia) tells the story of two girls, best friends Mols and Jaz, growing up in present day Sydney’s Northern Beaches…

the best feeling of allLife doesn’t happen, you make it.

Mols and Jaz can’t wait for life to begin. In the meantime, they’ll make sure they get their share of excitement and fun. When they’re not seeking out the next ecstatic thrill, they’re making big plans for the future while exploring the sand dunes, headlands and storm drains of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They happily race along the ridge between possibility and reality until they slam into the shocks, heartaches and impossible choices of adulthood.

Much like real life adolescence, the story meanders through the girls’ lives, loves and friendships from age fourteen to twenty six.

The sense of both feeling and finding independence and a frustrating lack of control that mark this part of life run true throughout  the story. Friends are pivotal in the girls lives as they move from teenage parties and hookups, clubbing and drinking to adult life with jobs, babies and all the challenges these things bring.

The girls rescue of an abandoned puppy early in the story bonds them and becomes an anchor for their relationship. They are there for each other as they are also both forced into decisions that shape their family makeup and to deal with changes they’d never expected.

I found Ellis at his best depicting the girls friendships and the rush of discovered mutual attraction. While my own adolescence might have been a while ago now, I could relate to the intensity of feeling and freedom portrayed.

“Now, sitting by herself in a scruffy park in the middle of a work day, drinking beer and eating battered fish, made her feel as if she had somehow just re boarded a psychic train that she had climbed off sometime back then. She felt again the powerful sense of possibility that had permeated every thought when she and Jaz were still dreaming of the clear air of adulthood.
Quit my job – tick. “
Jack Ellis’ novel really did capture the best, and worst of the feelings so many of us associate with growing up.

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You can find out more about Jack’s novel The Best Feeling of All here…