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My Father's Shadow

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Kaya is completing her Higher School Certificate when she is woken in the middle of the night by her mother. They are to pack immediately and go to their holiday home in the Blue Mountains. Her father is ‘not coming back’. He has been involved in a court case to give evidence against some dangerous criminals.

Months later, they are still in hiding and the mysteries are mult
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Magabala Books
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Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**3.5 stars**

My Father's Shadow by Jannali Jones. (2019).
*Young Adult*

Kaya is woken up in the middle of the night and told by her mother they are to quickly pack and leave for their holiday home in the Blue Mountains; and her father is not coming back.
Kaya is recovering from PTSD after a traumatic event she can't remember. She is seeing a psychologist in the hopes of recalling evidence to maybe assist in an upcoming trial. The mysteri
Trigger warnings: PTSD, hostage situation (in the past), car accident, kidnapping, violence.

3.5 stars.

This is a very compelling story about an Indigenous teenage girl who just wants to finish year 12 and go to Europe to hang out with her best friend. But her plans are derailed when her mother wakes her up in the middle of the night to say that her father's "not coming back" and that they have to flee their house and their lives because bad people are out to get them. Six months later in the Bl
Underground Writers
This review was first published on the Underground Writers website:

The Black&Write! Fellowship has produced some cracking reads so of course I couldn’t wait to dig into Jannali Jones’s debut. The blurb for My Father’s Shadow doesn’t give much away so I will endeavour not to as well—forever the battle of reviewing mystery books is wanting to gush over the twists and turns but being unable to. Especially with a book that is so fast paced and so gripping tha
I was with this story and this narrator, for about 3/4 of the way.

Then I was disappointed by the concluding chapters. Wanted more.
Sarah Fairbairn
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Father’s Shadow is the kind of book you just can’t put down – it was so hard to rip myself a way from. The constant uneasy vibe that Jannali Jones has created with her magnificent writing propels you forward and keeps you right on the edge of your seat.

An intense prologue kicks the book off showing us the night that POV Kaya and her mother go into hiding. This is a fast pace book that doesn’t let up for the whole 217 pages, but never feels rushed. I commend Ms Jones for fitting so much story
Anika Claire
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A tense debut mystery-thriller. I enjoyed reading this!
Leonie Stephenson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
More like 4 1/2 stars
Jess (Clockwork Chapters)
The suspense was constant throughout this intriguing story. I thought the portrayal of PTSD was great and Kaya was a strong protagonist. Her friendships with Jemma and Eric were genuine, as were her relationships with family. I did expect there to be more to Jemma, as I felt Jones was leading the reader that way, but I guess that was the point. The ending was a bit of let down for me, I felt that it lacked the heart-stopping twist I was expecting. Believing that Kaya's mum (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I am very impressed with this debut novel!! Full of mystery and suspense, from the first page through to the end it was just constant questions and twists - even gave me goosebumps. A story written very well capturing drama, thrill and importance of family. Full review to come to be posted on the blog - with special thanks to Magabala Books for sending me a review copy of this book.
Deidre Pocock
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG.....what a fabulous book Jannali has written. I literally couldn't put it down. Just finished the most thrilling book I have read for a long time. 'Jannali Jones has crafted a thrilling story that stays on the edge right to the end'...... aren't sufficient words to describe this thriller. ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love a good YA thriller and this did not disappoint. What a strong debut!
Highly recommend.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful young adult novel. Full of mystery, lies and suspense. A great read.
Woken by her mother in the dead of the night, Kaya finds herself fleeing her home to a secret hideaway in the Blue Mountains. Anonymity is paramount. Kaya is in grave danger. Her father is gone, and the people responsible are searching for her to prevent her from testifying as a witness in a violent hostage situation gone wrong. But Kaya can't remember anything from that night, PTSD has stolen all her memories of what actually took place. All she knows is that she cannot trust anyone, and she's ...more
Final Draft
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jannali Jones’ My Father’s Shadow
Jannali Jones is a Gunai woman. She was the winner of the black&write! Indigenous writing fellowship and her writing has appeared in Overland, Southerly and the Review of Australian Fiction.
My Father’s Shadow begins “On the night my dad died I was shaken from sleep.” This is our introduction to Kaya as she and her mother flee their home to the Blue Mountains town of Mount Wilson.
Kaya and her mother must go into hiding, lest the men who came for her father return
Dimity Powell
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
The general concensus after reading this novel is the unfortunate waning of interest part way through and lack luster ending. I shy from 'general' but have to agree in part this time. Jones' narrative begins convincingly albeit somewhat confusingly, rushing us into a mountain exile with Kaya and her estranged mother. There's a promising air of desperation and tension that peters out too quickly once we learn that Kaya's father is most likely murdered and Kaya and her mother's lives are in dire d ...more
Kira B
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘My Father’s Shadow’ is a gripping YA novel written by Jannali Jones. The protagonist, Kaya, is not only in her final year of high school but is in hiding with her mother after their lives fall apart. Kaya’s father is privy to his boss’ spurious dealings and his attempts to alert the authorities go terribly wrong. Kaya must face a world without him, her best friend and her life as she knew it. In her new home, Kaya navigates a new friendship while dealing with PTSD, her mother’s new partner, and ...more
Shelley Timms
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this in two-and-a-bit sittings, and really enjoyed it! It was a plotline I haven't read about before, which was refreshing. My only issue is with the pacing, which is why I took off a star - the first 75% of the book was slow and felt like it was building up to a big plot twist/moment, and then the last 25% seemed to wrap up quite quickly. I felt a little disappointed by the ending, as I felt it was lacking the gut punch that I was expecting. However, still a great YA thriller!

I think I
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thrilling chase novel about a girl figuring out her mother and her new lover are out to get her and more secrets start to unravel one thing after a another until there's no way kaya can keep running from her past. ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tfic
Excellent mystery, the twist at the end still confuses me though- I need someone else to read this so we can chat about it! Blue mountains, ptsd, parental conflict
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
It was worth finishing, but I really needed to suspend disbelief a lot, and there's a tendency to over explain. I'm sure she'll get better with her next book though, and I'll be happy to read it. ...more
Erin Gray
This YA book passed the time just fine. It dealt with the topic of PTSD, but the trauma wasn’t too descriptive to be too heavy for a young reader. It was pretty obvious to me how the story would unfold, but it kept my interest enough to keep reading.
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Sep 24, 2019
Terry Fahy
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Apr 28, 2021
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