Scot Gardner lives near Yinnar, a little town in Eastern Victoria, with his wife and three dryads. He works with young people who don't like school, and expectant fathers. He plays didjeridu and grows vegies. He loves Dreamtime stories and pyrotechnics. Burning Eddy is his third novel.
Gr 9 Up-Daniel's interest in nature sets him apart from most of his high school classmates, and at home he is fearful of his angry father. When the 15-year-old starts gardening for Eddy, an elderly Dutch woman, her wisdom and good humor teach him self-confidence. The title of Australian author Scott Gardner's novel refers to the old woman's requested funeral arrangements. Though Dan is sometimes at odds with his older sister, extra fond of his younger brother, and helpful to his mother, the entire family feels a sense of freedom and finds new challenges when his father is imprisoned for a past crime. A girlfriend and an unexpected bond with one of his former tormentors help boost Dan's self esteem, so is able to face Eddy's death with courage and understanding. Narrator Stig Wemyss does an exceptional job of bringing to life characters of various ages including those whose English is accented. The sound quality is good and story breaks are punctuated by interesting music. Burning Eddy is a slow starter but it touches on important concerns such as child abuse, rape, and forgiveness. Some strong language and unfamiliar Australian vocabulary may make this a second choice for school libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.