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Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite
"Sydney’s Song" by Ia Uaro is a love story and emotional journey. The heroine Sydney, sharing her name with the city she lives in, takes on a temporary job. It is a tough one, dealing with customers phoning the 1300500 transport helpline and anyone who has ever dealt with the general public knows how dispiriting that can be. Sydney faces tough customers and very strict employers who whisk away bonuses at the drop of a hat. However, she is working alongside a lively bunch of youngsters. She is not quite on their wavelength--she is better off than most of them and refuses to be drawn into the drinking and partying culture of her peers--but she is not too standoffish. She is genuine and firmly believes in her choice and her friends respect that, although they find it puzzling. Home life is tough as Sydney suddenly finds herself pretty much abandoned by her parents and only has her trusty dog to rely on. Then, against her better judgement, she starts a courtship with Peter which brings a lot more hurdles into her life, including animosity from both sets of parents and learning to cope and live with disability.
"Sydney’s Song" is a robust novel. Sydney is a tough girl, taking everything that life throws at her on the chin, and still managing to smile, although hard at times. She never loses her sense of humor, and that is the pattern of this book. You can be nearly in tears one moment from the power of the writing and the unfairness of Sydney's life, but the next moment you will be laughing at something absurd that happens or at a wry observation by Sydney. The story is a mixture of fact and fiction, based on the author’s real experiences, but adding plenty of imagination too. It is a love story, it is courage under fire, and it is hugely entertaining. Nothing is predictable in the story, as in life, and the message it carries is to seize new experiences and make the most of them. The book is well-written and reading it is a thoroughly enjoyable, if occasionally humbling, adventure.