I am enjoying everyone's answers to the DQ immensely. Most of them agree with my own thoughts about the book, and some of them make me think again.
As for Jake, his behaviour is so far from how i think people should interact with others, that I'm inclined to think he has a personality disorder. it's easy to 'blame the mother', but I'm not going there. He has a built-in mean streak, using people, his parents, his brother, schoolmates, girls for his own means, and nothing else.
Arthur is a bit like my husband, always helpful, a hard worker. The downside of this is that people rely on him too much, he is always the one to come to the rescue, to his own detriment.
Ian is cut out to be a doctor, the way he helps his father in the practice in crisis situations. And he so does NOT want to be become a doctor..lol! I understand why he condemns his mother, he feels she leaves him. But I also understand her, slowly dying in this town which has nothing to offer her.
I simply love Lawson's writing, when she describes a flock of geese, I can hear them cackling way up in the air. ( Do geese cackle? oh well, they do here)
I finished the book yesterday, so I'l have to bite my tongue for now...................