If there was one thing you could change about yourself,’ Lise says, ‘what would it be?’ ‘Lots of stuff,’ I say, without giving it too much thought. ‘What about you?’ She doesn’t answer. For ages, she doesn’t answer. She creases an unused sugar packet on the cafe table into tiny, deliberate folds, then unfolds it again. then she says, quietly, ‘I’d change everything.’ ‘Everything?’ I echo. She nods. ‘My clothes. My body. My self.’
Leaving Jetty Road is a compelling coming-of-age story about three friends, Nat, Lise and Sofia. When the three girls make a joint New Year’s resolution to go vegetarian for a year none of them foresees the changes that will occur in their lives during that year. While Nat and Sofia meet boys and fall in love, Lise immerses herself in long hours of study. She hopes this preparation will help her overcome the panic attacks she experienced in Year 11. She also discovers – to her delight – that the vegetarianism that they have pledged has resulted in something she has always longed for: weight loss. As the year progresses and the end-of-year exams loom, the three girls experience various ups and downs: Nat’s relationship breaks down, while Sofia’s thrives, and Lise struggles with an eating disorder that could threaten her life. It is during the aftermath of these events that Nat and Lise must come to terms with their lives. Although their experiences are different, they discover a new optimism for life.
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