Nola Smith, Enough is Enough, Dixi Books, November 2021, 240 pp, RRP $30.95 (pbk) ISBN 9781913680275
This is Nola Smith’s first young readers’ novel, and it is a charming, fast-paced, uplifting story. Set in Perth, it follows the life of twelve-year-old Leroy Jones, a boy you might think has little going for him: his single mother is struggling to pay the bills, he is left at home with his two younger siblings nearly every night, his school work is suffering, his mother seems to blame him for the break-up with her last partner, who was a slob and a bully and a liar, and on top of this he is responsible for an accident at home that lands his young brother in hospital with second degree burns. On top of all that, he is a freckled red head, so he must endure the random taunts of others at school.
Leroy, however, has a lot going for him because he has a big heart, he’s willing to take risks and he’s open to friendship when it’s offered. The major events of the novel revolve around a growing relationship with an eighty-year-old widow who is afraid she will be taken from her home and lose her independence, and the matter of a child she had to give up when she was seventeen, a child who has grown to become an important public figure. She wants to speak to him, and if she can, apologise to him, before her weak heart gives out. Leroy does his best, and along the way falls in love, makes a new friend, learns something about making mistakes, and lands in his own trouble with the police.
It’s an engaging and exciting ride, and all the way the reader has the pleasure of Leroy’s company. Recommended for readers from ten to fourteen years, and beyond.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy