Loner, by Georgina Young

29 October 2021
Loner, by Georgina Young, book cover

It’s a difficult path to walk, the journey to becoming the person we want to be. There’s the frequent self-doubt, and the sometimes futile attempts to appease those around us, who expect our lives to take a direction more in suiting with their preferences. How many of us have been in, or are in, such a place? At least Lona, the twenty year old protagonist of Loner (published by Text Publishing, August 2020), written by Melbourne based Australian author Georgina Young, knows what she doesn’t want.

But then the arts student decides one day a life in the arts isn’t for her. Nor the dead-end jobs she calls work. Lona goes from having some direction, to having almost none. All that seems to fulfil her are books, a part-time gig as a DJ, and photography, an interest that requires her to sneak into her old art school to access the dark room to develop her pictures.

Loner is one of the titles shortlisted in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, and in addition to her other woes, it seems to me Lona also has to grapple with being an introvert. Choosing to be in her own company, or perish forbid, enjoying being in her own company, is another source of self-doubt for Lona, since some of the people around her probably feel she is lacking as a result. It’s kind of difficult then. Trying to find out who you are, while others are expressing disapproval at what you are.

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