The eye of the sheep
Allen and Unwin
Winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin award
The story: Jimmy is the narrator – we meet him when he is six and the novel ends when he’s eleven. Jimmy sees the world differently from other kids – he counts sheep to fall asleep, he connects lines to people and he likes to repeat what others have said. His older brother Robby tolerates him with affection (sometimes), his mother understands and loves him and his father is frustrated and angered by him. The build-up of tragedy for Jimmy’s family is heartbreaking.
The highlights: Jimmy’s voice is so strong and his view of the world so unique that I felt as if I had not only met him, but that he was part of my community. By focusing on the intimate details of one family, Laguna opens up awareness of other families and their suffering. Jimmy’s story stayed with me for days afterwards – I felt I was seeing the world through his eyes. A pretty powerful response! It was fabulous to see Sofie Laguna win the Miles Franklin award for this book. I completed a writing course with her over four months in 2012 – she was passionate, committed and inspirational.