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Living on Hope Street

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  48 reviews
We all love someone. We all fear something. Sometimes they live right next door - or even closer.

Kane will do everything he can to save his mother and his little brother Sam from the violence of his father, even if it means becoming a monster himself.

Mrs Aslan will protect the boys no matter what - even though her own family is in pieces.

Ada wants a family she can count on
Paperback, 247 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kane and his family are casualties of alcoholism and domestic violence. His father a violent man who has held his family to ransom, his mother recovering from her fractured marriage. Terrified his father will return, Kane is resolute and will sacrifice his benevolence to defend his family. While Kane is resentful, brother Sam continues to regress and is plagued by nightmares of his father. The narrative commences with perspectives from brothers Kane and Sam, their father physically assaulting th ...more
A gritty realistic read with hope built through diverse friendships and familial ties. TW Note: It explores domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder and racism.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A contemporary snapshot of life in Melbourne. The people who live in Hope Street are a mixed bunch of Aussies, immigrants and refugees. Throw into the mix the tragic consequences of domestic violence and you have a gritty, powerful, heart-wrenching novel.
Amra Pajalic
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya
Living on Hope Street is a beautiful novel that shows the true beating heart of Australia. It is the representation of the Australia I grew up in and live in with real Australians-refugees, those in inter-racial relationships, cultures that represent all the different waves of migration in Australia.
Demet has created such distinct voices for each of her characters, from seven-year-old Sam who is terrorised by his home-life to 70 year-old Mr Bailey who is a Vietnam vet and struggling with the ch
Elise McCune
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren is a beautifully written, novel. Although this book is YA I feel that adults would also enjoy this story set in multicultural Melbourne. Demet Divaroren tells the story of the people who live on Hope Street with great compassion and understanding. You just want the kids in the story to be happy. Kane and Sam are brothers and when Kane tries to protect his mother and Sam from the violence of their father the scenes are written with empathy. In some ways th ...more
Wow. Powerful, gritty and heart-wrenching.

Real compassion.
Hope Street is in a battling suburb of Melbourne. The residents are a modern Australian grab bag of backgrounds - a Turkish grandma, a newly arrived African refuge family, a PTSD affected Vietnam Vet, Lebanese, Islanders and the central characters of Sam and Kane who live with their mother and a violent father. There's also a cast of supporting characters covering schoolyard bullying, the impact of social media, racism, young love and exploring sexuality. So for a short book it's jam packed and ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great work of Australian Literature. I was extremely lucky to win a copy of this wonderful book from the author.
I loved every word of this story. It was both realistic and sincere. An Aussie gem.
Set in an average Australian suburb in Melbourne, this is the tale of the people of Hope Street. A multicultural neighbourhood that, at first, seems a little disconnected.
We have Kane, who is determined to protect his brother and mother from an abusive father at any cost, even if it means becoming a
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title form Allen & Unwin for review.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Kane and Sam live with an abusive father. Mrs Aslan misses her estranged daughter and granddaughter. Gugu and her family are adjusting to life in Australia and Mr Bailey is frightened of the way his street has changed. Living on Hope Street is a snapshot into the lives of this diverse neighbourhood.

There's a certain grittiness wrapped in dry humour inherent in many Australian stories and Living on Hope Street is no
CC the Great is Not Okay
A gritty story about working-class marginalised people in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I had a soft spot in my heart for this book because I myself am an immigrant who lives in the western suburbs but have been privileged enough to be middle class, not be a refugee, attend a private school, and not live in an abusive household.

However, the story just never came together that well for me. It focused too much on some characters and not enough on others. Despite having an overall diverse set o
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review can be found at

“We all love someone, we all fear something. Sometimes it’s right next door, or even closer.”

Where do you begin writing a review when a book has had such a profound effect on you, one that you’re not expecting? You have so much to say, yet you’re not quite sure how to say it because nothing can prepare you for the impact those first few pages have on you. As you continue to read you feel hopeful…both for the lives of these everyday suburban peopl
An exceptional Australian voice. Demet Divaroren jumps right into Hope Street and lays it bare. Hope Street is a typical suburban road that has been totally changed by the influx of new residents from many different social and cultural backgrounds. Many of the residents are suffering from the aftermath of war and/or violence and there is an undertone of anger and aggression.
Mr and Mrs Bailey's house is one of only a few in which the owner occupiers have lived for decades, and Mr Bailey is disma
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
More reviews on the blog: https://wordsandwarpaintblog.wordpres...

This book revolves around a few characters, with all their stories tying in together. Each chapter is dedicated to a different character, describing the events that take place through their eyes.

First we have Sam and Kane, two brothers who live with an abusive father and a loving mother. As a result of the abuse Sam, the younger sibling, suffers from a number of side effects including nightmares and not being able to control his b
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A raw and confronting story that covers very intense issues like domestic violence and hot topics like immigration and the hope that stems from breaking down of barriers and stereotypes that can happen when people unite. The story is written from various perspectives of different cultures and ages and each voice was so distinguished, it's easy to follow each character. Very well written, very important - such a great insight into suburban life today and makes you realise, sometimes, you just don ...more
Clare Snow
CW: domestic violence, racism
"We are baobab people. We are strong like the baobab tree."

I have to return this to the library, but I'll get back to it. The domestic violence is too intense for me at the moment.
This was a brutal and honest and powerful look at many issues that Australia faces today. I think it’s important to read if you can - there is a lot of triggering content in this little book.
Liz Filleul
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Living on Hope Street is a beautifully written, gritty novel set in an everyday street in multicultural Melbourne. The characters - so vivid they jump off the page - all have their struggles and horrors: domestic violence, racism, the after-effects of the atrocities of war. Everyone's story is sensitively handled by Demet Divaroren: in fact, I was moved to tears by something that happened to one of the initially least sympathetic characters in the book.

The stand-out characters are Kane and Sam,
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I flew through this book! It is awful and heartbreaking from the very first page, but I couldn't put it down. I loved the way the story unfolded through the eyes of a cast of characters, and I loved seeing how they came together. This one made me cry once or twice, and although it's terribly sad sometimes I also found it hopeful.
*TRIGGER WARNING* this deals with domestic violence (literally from the first page in the book)
Sue Hatton
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is as real as it gets. It’s relatable to many and whilst some many question it’s suitability for YA readers- it’s life. Life that many know, many relate to and many need to understand. Not everyone lives a life like you but you are the change for yourselves and, often, for others. Diversity is a part of our world, so is accepting and learning from and about others. Being a guiding force when it might seem impossible allows us to grow as humans. It’s a great read- I found it relatable bc it’ ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly beautiful piece of writing that reflects modern Australia extremely well. A superb debut novel from a talented young writer.
Sharni Benson
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book about a very low socio-economic street with different issues, but they all come back to the first family and the domestic violence, as it states very late in the book that the street revolves around them.

The multi-narrative in this was very well done, capturing the essence of teenagers, and young primary age children, and adults, one who had a hard time with English.

I did notice that the adults were written in the 3rd person, as opposed to the children and teens, which wa
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book as I was looking into texts that might suit Year 8 English curriculum. The multiple perspectives angle worked well and I liked the depth provided in such a short story to the different characters. I love that Mr Bailey wasn't oversimplified and given life beyond the outward portrayal of your local old grumpy bigoted man, and that characters like Mrs Aslan are shown to have made mistakes too. This was a great portrait of life on streets that feel really familiar. I'd happily reco ...more
Book Bazaar
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Club for our 13+ Group.
This one has been our favourite so far this year. It was a dark, gritty read following the families living on Hope Street. There was violence and racism, but also people who pulled together to save others and I think we may have all cried at least once!

We scored it:
8.75, 10, 9, 8.5, 8, 9.75, 10, 8.5, 9, 10
Read3r’z Re-Vu
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A raw, confronting yet important story all Aussies should read…

This story is written from various perspectives of different cultures and ages and each voice is distinguished. Kane will do everything he can to save his mother and little brother Sam from the violence of his father. Kane’s neighbour, Mrs Aslan will protect the boys no matter what – even though her own family is in pieces. Down the road, Ada wants a family she can count on, while she faces new questions about herself. Mr Bailey is a
Rania T
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A snapshot of Australian suburbia (possibly the Brimbank/Melton area in Melbourne with Mr.Bailey's dog called Sunshine?) in this ethnically diverse, inclusive Young Adult novel. It was refreshing to see a Turkish character (Mrs Aslan) tell bits of the story from her point of view, as the last time I saw an Australian Immigrant Turkish character in a book was in Maureen MCcarthy's novel Fatimafrom the In Between Series published in the mid 80's, which was written in a third person narrative. And ...more
Dimity Powell
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
From the first symbolic sentence to the last striking line, this story rocks the senses. Emotionally explosive, Divaroren's prose eloquently embraces subject matter that bristles with vileness and loathing. As each resident of Hope Street shares their feelings and fears, the true heart of this overlooked, multi-culturally coloured backwater road is revealed. Each resident has a history that threatens to tear them apart. Each fights demons disguised as forms of bigotry, PTSD, racism and family vi ...more
Raelene Barns
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what can I say .... this was an absolute awesome read ... couldn't put it down .... Every character had a story to tell, the multicultural story line in one of Melbourne's streets and the different families that lived there actually made me believe that it could be an actually true story and that quote "behind closed doors" is perfect for this book ... so many emotions, so well written, It was heartbreaking, my goodness young Sam made me cry, Kane trying to be such a man but such a boy... and wh ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
First up, I received this book through a giveaway. If I had purchased it myself however, I would still have been pleased with my purchase. It was a sensitive, well-written story, with details revealed about each character, so that you learned to empathise with even characters who at first glance seemed unlikeable. It reminded me of one of my favorite books "Bombay Time" by Thrity Umrigar. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different person on the street, and the author was able ...more
sandy cheeks
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Had to read for school - a really touching and gripping novel showcasing rough Australian suburbia and sensitive themes such as domestic violence.

A 4 because I felt like a lot of character development was rushed due to the tight constraints of the length of the book - whether or not this was something Demet Divaroren couldn't change is beyond me, but some parts such as a *eventual* unification between two characters felt way too forced; a plot device in the form of another character served as a
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Realistic, gritty, moving - exploring a diverse socially marginalised community living in a Melbourne street. The struggles are explored with sincerity, compassion and understanding, challenging preconceptions. Every character is authentic and dealt with empathetically. Beautiful, compelling and important.
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Demet Divaroren was born in her mother’s childhood home in Adana, Turkey. She migrated to Australia with her family when she was six months old and grew up on the outskirts of Melbourne. She is the co-editor of Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia anthology (Allen & Unwin, 2014) which was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council’s Book of the Year awards. Her writing has appeared in Gr ...more

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