About Letters from the Inside by John Marsden:
I really enjoyed the reading by John Marsden, but now I am also a bit mad at the old fella too!
In all seriousness, Marsden's plots tend to be amazing. Like the 'Tomorrow' series, the fact that he writes characters who are masterminds behind guerilla attacks, who are also exploring relationships, getting excited about Iced Vo-Vos and come up with other ways to deal with the pain of war is amazing. The fact that Ellie and Fi especially can become so distracted about their romantic entanglements astounds me, but the war side of things feels genuine because of it.
What I actually wanted to do was talk about Letters from the Inside, which I have a very tattered and well loved version of. Until I read this passage, I truly believed that Mandy stopped writing to Tracey because of Tracey's nightmare at the end of the book. That would be an okay thing to believe, and less far fetched than some of the other suggestions. I am really glad Marsden did not put the scenario into the text, though it would have explained a lot more - he could have done it by pasting a newspaper article or similar at the end. But it looks like he wants us to figure it out. Marsden himself found clues after he had written it, and that's not overly surprising (in my opinion, if you enjoy rereading your own stories, it is a good sign). He made it a lot more palatable to younger readers which is a good thing in many ways.
I had always wondered how he knew so much about prisons, so his time in Risdon explains it. I had wondered why he had a shout out to it in this novel (the quote is something like 'What's the postcode for Risdon?' 'SUX'), and it's also used in the Tomorrow series.