My girl is called Lina and the book is set in Carlton in 1956 - the year of the Melbourne Olympics AND the arrival of television. Lina's parents have recently arrived from Italy and they live in a tiny terrace house in a little lane way off Rathdowne Street with Lina's grandmother, their four children and an uncle. Lina has had a happy childhood, playing cricket with her brothers in the streets, helping her grandmother around the house and occasionally accompanying her parents down Lygon Street to do their shopping. Carlton has been Lina's whole world, the place where she feels like she belongs, until the year she wins a scholarship to an expensive private school in a far off suburb and her eyes are opened to a way of life she had never known existed. For the first time she begins to feel ashamed of the house and the family she had once loved. She makes new friends but she also makes enemies and life is no longer as simple as it had once been.
The books in this series are particularly dear to me as some of the stories are loosely based on my partner's family when they first arrived in Melbourne from Italy. I have so loved writing these books. I hope you will love reading them, too.