Sylvia Johnson’s 2011 novel Watch Out For Me, is a dramatic story beginning in Australia in 1967 and continuing through to the present. It follows the story of two sisters, their older brother and their young cousin, switching from each of their points of view, between their days of playing together as children, and as adults in difficult and frightening situations.
These four children tell a seemingly harmless lie that has a snowball effect, changing their lives and many others along the way. The lie eventually causes an immigrant gardener to be falsely accused of a crime and a town left in a state of panic.
Many years later we are caught amongst the chaos of the characters. Two of them in Sydney, one in Italy and the other in Morocco, all facing terrifying events which will alter the course of their lives.
Watch Out For Me is an interesting story that keeps you wanting to know what will happen next and what happened in the past. It was an enjoyable read although every few pages the character point of view changed, sometimes leading to confusion as to who is who and what is going on.
Along with the character changes, there were a couple of other not well known characters thrown in, parts of fictitious interviews and also real paragraphs from British newspapers about the shooting death of Jean Charles de Menezes.
The main characters all have very distinctive personalities, and it was intriguing to read about how they acted in certain situations as children. The flashbacks to their childhood were more entertaining than the characters as adults. When they are speaking in the present, the wording sometimes came across as quite sporadic.
So many human emotions and circumstances are touched upon in this tale of sadness, love, lies, danger, trust, anger and madness. This is a story about bravery and some people are braver than others.