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Sidelines

Karen Viggers

Signed
$32.99

Paperback

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English
Allen & Unwin
03 January 2024

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sometimes the drama occurs off the playing fields, and on the sidelines... Jonica is a stay-at-home Mum, though she is starting to resent her barrister husband's insistence that she need not work, as having teenaged twins who both play competitive soccer is truly hard work, without the pay. Alex and Audrey are good, but their father's expectations are they play for Australia. Jonica just wants them to enjoy themselves, but in the intense competition to make good teams, the fun is being lost. Audrey has felt pressured to play in a mixed team, but her arch-rival Carmen is also on it, and somehow Audrey keeps coming off second-best, despite being a more talented player. As the season goes by, no-one is happy, not least of all the parents on the sidelines who want their kids to shine. A skilfully told novel about contemporary life and the thwarted desires of the players and their parents, and how competition is not always as healthy as we’ve been told... Lindy

'Essential - and thrilling - reading for all parents.'KATE MILDENHALL

'Sidelines is a riveting novel. It takes our jittery, intensely competitive era and unpicks our self-deceptions until they bleed.' JANE CARO

When a violent brawl erupts at a suburban junior soccer game, some onlookers are shocked. But others saw it coming. Rivalry, parental pressure, coaching bias, inequity, and many other factors have played a part in turning Saturday mornings into a pressure cooker.

Thirteen-year-old Audrey is a talented young football player. But does she want to play for Australia or does she just want to please her father, Ben, whose own thwarted sporting career looms large in his ambitions for his daughter? Audrey's mother, Jonica, doesn't know whether to be more concerned about her anxious daughter, her overbearing husband, or the only other girl on the team, Katerina, who is causing trouble on and off the field. And Katerina's mother, Carmen, is so busy looking for opportunities to give Katerina more game time that she fails to notice what is really capturing her daughter's attention.

When Griffin, a naturally gifted player with spectacular skills, arrives, the tension within the team reaches boiling point. But who is going to crack first - the parents or the players?

'Sometimes a novel comes along that says what you've been thinking.'

MALCOLM KNOX

'will leave you wondering if perhaps winning and losing are the same thing.'

GABBIE STROUD

'Viggers shines a light on the ways competition can pull us together or drive us apart.' INGA SIMPSON

By:  
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   390g
ISBN:   9781761470714
ISBN 10:   176147071X
Pages:   368
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Karen Viggers is a writer, veterinarian, podcaster and literary critic who loves nature, bushwalking and animals. She is the author of four novels: The Stranding, The Lightkeeper's Wife, The Grass Castle and The Orchardist's Daughter. Her work is set in Australian landscapes and explores dying with dignity, displacement of First Peoples, wildlife conservation, clear-felling of native forests, and now, junior sport. She is co-host of the Secrets From the Green Room podcast, in which she interviews writers and other bookish people about books, writing and green rooms, uncovering the stories you don't usually get to hear. She is a literary reviewer and public speaker, and also a mother to two adult children and a dog. Her books have been translated into several languages and have enjoyed great success in France where she is a bestselling author and has won a literary award. Sidelines is her fifth novel.

Reviews for Sidelines

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sometimes the drama occurs off the playing fields, and on the sidelines... Jonica is a stay-at-home Mum, though she is starting to resent her barrister husband's insistence that she need not work, as having teenaged twins who both play competitive soccer is truly hard work, without the pay. Alex and Audrey are good, but their father's expectations are they play for Australia. Jonica just wants them to enjoy themselves, but in the intense competition to make good teams, the fun is being lost. Audrey has felt pressured to play in a mixed team, but her arch-rival Carmen is also on it, and somehow Audrey keeps coming off second-best, despite being a more talented player. As the season goes by, no-one is happy, not least of all the parents on the sidelines who want their kids to shine. A skilfully told novel about contemporary life and the thwarted desires of the players and their parents, and how competition is not always as healthy as we’ve been told... Lindy


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