Under the Influence – a review

Title – Under the influence

Author – Jacqueline Lunn

NSW, Vintage Books, 2011

Sarah’s Pick

Three girls meet at boarding school in Sydney’s North Shore. Meg is the daughter of a widowed sheep farmer from western NSW. Eve’s parents run the chemist shop in a country town. And Sarah can see the roof of her house from the boarding school but has been sent there by her busy professional parents. The story gives a good account of teenage girls and life in a boarding school. The girls share a secret about another girl from school- the popular and beautiful Rebecca. This secret changes the girls.

Eve is now a successful cellist living in London with her handsome and rich partner but things don’t always go well for her. Sarah lives in Sydney with her young sons and husband and enjoys her family. Meg was the bright one at school but a poor choice sees her die in a car accident in rural NSW, a day before she was to start work as the new doctor for the town. Her death reveals some new insights into her life.

Eve and Sarah reunite at the funeral of Meg. As they face the death of their friend they must also face the past. The novel switches between the present and the past and we see that your past remains a part of you and influences your behaviour.

This is the first novel by Jacqueline Lunn who has worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines.

Three girls meet at boarding school in Sydney’s North Shore. Meg is the daughter of a widowed sheep farmer from western NSW. Eve’s parents run the chemist shop in a country town. And Sarah can see the roof of her house from the boarding school but has been sent there by her busy professional parents. The story gives a good account of teenage girls and life in a boarding school. The girls share a secret about another girl from school- the popular and beautiful Rebecca. This secret changes the girls.

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