Set in Broome, Australia, in 1926, Nights in the Sun - plain-spokenly narrated with sincerity by Aussie, Stephen Phillips - is a coming-of-age young adult historical novel about a highly empathetic 14-year-old, Sam, and his final enlightening and turbulent year at home before leaving for school.
Sam works for his father at Sun Picture Stadium, an old-time open-air movie theater, and the town’s social hub. While working there, he falls in love for the first time, meets very different new friends, comes in contact with both violence and death, and slowly realizes that life is a lot more difficult and complex than what is shown on a movie screen.
Sam is a skinny layabout, working at the Sun Picture Stadium for his dad, and dreaming of being a hero, a cowboy, a legend. It's Broome, the year is 1926, and the heat is on.
Reminiscent of Tom Sawyer, 14-year-old Sam, although in truth powerless, is king of the town of Broome because of his ability to engage with all levels of people, a most unusual thing in this class, and race, determined society.
"This is clever, brisk, engaging writing. All readers will surely be charmed by feckless Sam and be left with a vivid impression of Broome in 1926." (Magpies Magazine)
I don't know how race relations are in Australia, but I find this book very offensive even though I am not Japanese. What's up with calling a white boy "boss" several times because of the colour of his skin? The Japanese guy was too subservient.