The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna
About the author
Felicity Castagna spent her youth living and travelling around Asia and North America before moving to Parramatta, where she has worked as a teacher, arts worker and editor for the past ten years.
Her collection of short stories Small Indiscretions (Transit Lounge, 2011) was highly praised. She has won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Award and the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award.
About the book
The Incredible Here and Now tells of Michael's coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of where he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don't know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors', and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures.
Through his perceptions, the reader meets Michael's community and encounters its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life.
When Michael's beloved older brother Dom dies in a car crash, Michael and his family are left with aching grief.
What an aptly titled novel this is: a vivid portrait of a teenage boy, his family and community in Sydney's western suburbs learning about life, death and love.
Writer Felicity Castagna exploits a series of vignettes to create a wholly satisfying, moving story: its short, sculpted chapters capture Michael's thoughts, moods and insights in quickening moments. Michael has the outward reticence of a teenage boy, but so much happening beneath the surface.
This is a splendid portrayal of a boy on the cusp.