Jack van Duyn, a Melbourne taxi driver, is on the job when he steps in to break up an altercation between two kids in a playground of a hise rise apartment complex. What he doesn’t realise that he will end up getting involved in drug dealing, national security, and violence. But he does it all for one woman, who he quickly falls in love with.
I think the title of this book is quite fitting. Jack is completely thrown out of his comfort zone – going from being an almost recluse to spending time with people socially, and also learns some new things about himself. He puts himself in situations that he normally wouldn’t even think about.
I felt like I was really part of the story. I could see Jack’s world through his eyes. The writing style really draws you in to the book and puts you right in the middle of the story. Living in Melbourne, I could also imagine the locations in the story.
The story also touches on some stereotypes, particularly racial stereotypes. The woman that Jack is infatuated with is Somali, and becomes entangled in family and racial issues. I think the book makes some important points, particularly that just because people move away from violence in their country, it doesn’t mean they always escape it.
Although the ending wasn’t exactly a happy one, it did instil a sense of positivity and hope. It shows how one experience or event can completely change someone’s life. It opened my eyes a bit more to what other people may be experiencing because of their culture or previous life experiences. I really enjoyed reading this novel!