Five stars on Amazon.co.uk!
Some things are well worth waiting for, and this is definitely the case with Tracey Morait’s Goalden Sky. Tracey has given her teenage footy-playing step-sister-tolerating (just!) heroine, Gemma Sutherland, another literary run out. I have waited a long time for this and it has not disappointed.
The tale is still new so I can only briefly summarise the tale so as to avoid spoilers. But I can tell you this is a cracking read. I can’t pretend that this is edge of the seat stuff, it isn’t but nor is it designed to be; instead it is a somewhat earthy / realistic yarn about footy mad and now fifteen years old Gemma Sutherland, and her family and friends.
The football (soccer), while strongly featured (both school and professional level) throughout, at times acts more as part of the background / backdrop, while Gemma’s home and school life, and that of her family and friends, come strongly into focus.
Through the ups but sadly even more downs of current and former relationships, Gemma and her father find themselves lumbered with Gemma’s sort of step-sister, ten year old Portia; a spoilt brat if ever there was one. What make things worse, something happens which results in Portia becoming even more reliant on Gemma and her dad. Gemma is mortified at this; at times her thoughts and actions towards Portia are justified, but, and here is where the tale shows its realistic vent the most, quite often it isn’t and jealousy and pettiness take over.
This time round, school football is not and cannot be the be all and end all – GCSEs are looming, and schoolwork, both in school and at home, has to come first, although, as is really the case in all schools, the more sporty pupils are expected to find the right balance between their chosen sport and their studies. And as Gemma and her friends are a little older, there are tiny hints of teenage sexuality coming through here and there, but this does not hog the pages, and its minor presence is, I feel, weighted just right.
All in all, Gemma, Portia, Mr Sutherland, the wider family, friends and even teaching staff, all play their part in bringing us an engaging, sometimes humorous, sometimes earthy tale of life in football-mad Liverpool.
Well done Tracey Morait – again!