The Story of Tom Brennan

by

J. C. Burke

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Tom Brennan Character Analysis

Tom is the seventeen-year-old protagonist of the novel. Though Tom has spent most of his life overshadowed by his older brother, Daniel, the two have always been close. Both love rugby and, growing up, spent hours every day drilling skills. In the two years before the accident, Tom and Daniel played together on the St. John's rugby team in Mumbilli and were such a pair, the newspaper began to follow them through the feature “the legend of the Brennan brothers.” In the months before the accident, Tom admits that his life was uncomplicated and focused mostly on rugby, though he also notes that he'd begun to understand that Daniel was out of control and hurting the team. Tom and his two best friends, Matt and Snorter, are the first ones at the accident, where Tom then spends the entire night comforting Fin. This is understandably traumatizing for Tom, as is the graffiti on the Brennan’s home and the way that Mumbilli ostracizes his family in the aftermath. Because of this, Tom is initially angry, anxious, and secretive when his family moves to Coghill. As Tom begins to integrate in his new community, however, he starts to understand the importance of friendship. He maintains contact with Matt, but his new friends at Bennie's show themselves to be loyal and willing to stand up for Tom in tough situations. At footy camp, Tom also begins to see that winning isn't everything. Despite these leaps forward, however, Tom struggles throughout the novel with seeing the paralyzed Fin. He understands why Fin is angry yet also feels guilty for being glad that Daniel survived the accident and will be able to return to his life after jail. During long runs and talks with his uncle Brendan, Tom learns to frame his difficulties as challenges to be overcome, rather than death sentences. This is helped by his romantic relationship with Chrissy, who helps Tom rediscover who he is as an individual and encourages him to try to connect with Fin and Daniel.

Tom Brennan Quotes in The Story of Tom Brennan

The The Story of Tom Brennan quotes below are all either spoken by Tom Brennan or refer to Tom Brennan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Story of Tom Brennan published in 2005.
Chapter Three Quotes

I wandered down the hall in case Mum was awake. The door to her room was open. I stood there. Maybe Dad was telling the truth, maybe she had just gone to bed and was waiting to hear how my first day went. I stepped into the doorway. A thickness in the air hung still and stale.

She didn't see me. How could she under all those covers?

"Yeah, thanks Mum," I whispered. "School went okay."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Dad, Mum
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Four Quotes

Suddenly I was sucked deeper into that long black tunnel, the memories of Fin and Daniel and how we once were, and the worst thing, the knowing. Knowing more than anything I'd ever know that things would never be the same.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Six Quotes

Somewhere in the bush, hard to say how far away, I could hear the painful sound of groaning, retching sobs. It was Daniel but I couldn't go to him. Part of me wanted to, the other part didn't. I knew I had to stay with Fin, stay with the mess Daniel had made. Yet a voice inside of me was screaming, "He's alive, he's alive. Daniel's alive."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Matt, Luke, Nicole, Snorter
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

Brendan didn't want to say how bad Fin really was because it'd upset Dad and it wasn't his fault. But then Dad couldn't tell Brendan, or probably anyone for that matter, what state Daniel was in because the general consensus was that Daniel deserved what he got.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Dad, Brendan
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Seven Quotes

The thought of Dad hurting and the possibility that he could drop his bundle at any moment was too much for me to swallow.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Dad, Mum, Kylie Brennan
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

Wasn't his life worth more? But that's exactly why he was here, because a life was worth something, and Daniel took two away. Whichever way I turned, my questions only found another one, always worse than the last.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Luke, Nicole
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Nine Quotes

There were so many times when I just couldn't believe this'd happened, happened to me, to my family. This sort of thing happened to other people, not the Brennans.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Matt, Snorter
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

"But remember your fellow man, Daniel, because life is more than just a one-man show. Everything we do in this life affects others. Did you think of that the night you got behind the wheel, your trusting passengers the loved ones of others? We think probably not."

Related Characters: Gran (speaker), Tom Brennan, Daniel Brennan, Dad, Mum, Kylie Brennan, Nicole
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Ten Quotes

"It gets him out of the mainstream for a while, gives him a bit of breathing space," explained Brendan. "He finds the visiting hard. I mean, it's his lifeline, but the guilt resurfaces every time. That's what strangles him."

Related Characters: Brendan (speaker), Tom Brennan, Daniel Brennan
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eleven Quotes

I mean, it was bad—it was all bad—but even after the worst visits, there was still hope when you left him, some hope in the realization that one day Daniel'd be getting out of there, a free man.

But Fin would never be free, and that was too enormous to swallow.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Aunty Kath
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

Us Brennans had a lot to ask for and not much reason to give thanks. But I was thankful. Mum was up.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Mum, Gran, Aunty Kath
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twelve Quotes

Once, probably not that long ago, I'm not sure I could've gone back at all. But here I was sliding the drawer open.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Gran
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

"You could have told me. Do you think I couldn't see you fading away those first few weeks? Living on cereal, my goodness, you silly thing."

Related Characters: Gran (speaker), Tom Brennan
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:

My breath panted at the back of my throat. He knew? Jimmy knew?

"We're your mates, Tom, " Rory started. "We're part of a..."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Rory (speaker), Kylie Brennan, Jimmy
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Fourteen Quotes

Bennie's just wasn't the same. Everyone got along, and there was no one person you'd call an arsehole, and they had team unity—you couldn't deny them that. But what they didn't have was technique, and that's what put them on the outer next to teams like St. John's that could play the game in their sleep.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Dad
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:

"But we can't undo what's done. Bennie's is giving you a chance and, as pathetic as it may seem to you, it's still a chance." Again I heard his swallow, loud and dry. "No one's above anyone, surely you know that by now."

Related Characters: Dad (speaker), Tom Brennan, Daniel Brennan
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Fifteen Quotes

Since Dad's rave I'd been giving it all a fair bit of thought, but I couldn't exactly put my finger on it.

"You know, Dan, they really enjoy playing. It's not just about winning."

"Can't see the point," Dan frowned. "I mean, it's all about winning. Isn't it?"

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan (speaker), Dad
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

"The best thing about playing in the firsts at St. John's was playing with you, Dan." As I said it I realized that towards the end it had become the worst thing too—trying to carry him as his game slipped and he stopped caring about us, the Brennan brothers.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Sixteen Quotes

"We were fighting all the time. The new young players were shit-scared. If you had a bad game you were dead meat. It wasn't about us, it was all about the Wattle Shield. We stopped looking out for each other."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Kylie Brennan
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

"They couldn't control Dan. They were scared of him. Well, scared of the consequences if they tried to pull him into line [...] Maybe Daniel was always going to do something like this. Maybe he had to fall this far."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Dad, Fin, Mum, Kylie Brennan, Claire
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

Before, Brendan had been someone who was just always around. Someone I never really thought about. Mum's little brother. My uncle, that was about as far as it went. But that's when life was simpler.

Now Brendan wanted me to see him. See who he really was. This was probably the way Daniel saw him and now I did too.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Mum, Gran, Brendan, Jonny Tulake
Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Seventeen Quotes

I hadn't enjoyed the last season at St. John's, that I knew now. It hadn't mattered how good my game was, the pressure, the disgruntlement, the unpredictability of Daniel just didn't add up to good footy. It added up to frustration and division.

Now I knew differently. Bennie's first fifteen had taught me plenty. When I'd needed it most, Bennie's had reminded me that the game was better when a team was united and loving it.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Dad, Michael Harvey
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eighteen Quotes

We were. The three of us, like brothers.

Now it was hard to believe that. Blood's thicker than water, so what's the difference between your brother and your cousin? I didn't know. I'd never know.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
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Tom Brennan Character Timeline in The Story of Tom Brennan

The timeline below shows where the character Tom Brennan appears in The Story of Tom Brennan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
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It's 4:30 a.m. on the 23rd of January. Quietly, Tom and his family—Dad, Mum, and Kylie—load the last of their bags and suitcases into their... (full context)
Chapter One
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At dinner, Gran asks who's going to say grace. Tom notes that this isn't truly a question, as she's staring at him. He begins, but... (full context)
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Tom thinks of how Australia Day used to go down at his parents' place. They'd have... (full context)
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A man's voice interrupts Tom's reverie, and Father Vincent walks into the dining room at Gran's invitation. Tom thinks that... (full context)
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Father Vincent asks Tom if he was the one responsible for leading his old school, St. John's, to the... (full context)
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Uncle Brendan reminds Tom that there's a game of touch rugby in the afternoon, which will give Tom a... (full context)
Chapter Two
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Tom decides that if forced to say something nice, he'd be able to say that the... (full context)
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Kylie pokes her head into Tom's room to tell him it's time to get ready. She insists that the game will... (full context)
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Uncle Brendan sticks his head in to check on Tom. Tom brushes off Brendan's attempts to make sure he's okay. More than anything, Tom is... (full context)
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In the truck on the way to the game, Kylie sits between Gran and Tom in the back. Tom can tell she's extremely angry. Dad and Brendan discuss a tractor... (full context)
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...Brendan introduces Shorty to Dad as Peter McGregor. Shorty greets Gran and then turns to Tom, whom he recognizes as a rugby player. Tom corrects Shorty that he played half-back, not... (full context)
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Going back in time, Tom explains that Saturday, August 27th had been "sudden death" for the St. John's rugby team.... (full context)
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Tom hasn't touched a ball since that game five months ago. He's shocked that everything at... (full context)
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...and his heart is still on the other side of the river. Marcus points to Tom and suggests that Tom could switch, but a guy named Rory stands up for Tom.... (full context)
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When the game begins, Tom finds that running and playing feels natural. For the first time in months, he feels... (full context)
Chapter Three
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The next morning is tense; it's Kylie and Tom's first day of school in Coghill. Tom kicks a ball around outside while Kylie spends... (full context)
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...pulls up at the side entrance of St. Benedict's and tries to give Kylie and Tom a pep talk, but his suggestion that this is a challenge from God makes Kylie... (full context)
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Tom is assigned Michael Harvey for homeroom. Tom is somewhat uncomfortable that Harvey apparently knows what... (full context)
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The bus home is crowded with kids from four schools. Tom is able to slip into a seat and check out girls. He notices several sexy... (full context)
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Tom also knew that Daniel liked Claire more than he'd liked any other girls, which made... (full context)
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Tom notes that he's spent hours dissecting the changes that took place before the accident, trying... (full context)
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Because Gran's house is so far out of town, Tom and Kylie are the last off the bus and then have to walk ten minutes.... (full context)
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The night of the accident, Tom arrived at the scout hall late, as he had to convince Matt and Snorter that... (full context)
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Tom watched Fin walk into the hall and Claire said that when Daniel doesn't get his... (full context)
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Tom followed Daniel outside, yelling that Daniel did this to himself by treating Claire horribly. Daniel... (full context)
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Tom enters Gran's house and thinks it's dark and creepy. Dad is in the kitchen and... (full context)
Chapter Four
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The night of the accident, Tom looked at the sky as he walked home. He heard a car coming, blaring the... (full context)
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Tom hears the shower going so he lets himself in. Brendan’s house isn't what Tom remembers;... (full context)
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Tom thinks Daniel truly knew Brendan; the two spent a lot of time together. He notices... (full context)
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Brendan tries to talk to Tom about school and give him the "time is a healer" talk, but Tom cuts him... (full context)
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Tom had mailed Matt a letter the night before he left, telling him what happened. They... (full context)
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Tom soaks up the words and then starts a reply. He writes that he has to... (full context)
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The last time that Tom saw Fin, the hospital air conditioning was broken. Fin lay in bed with no sheet... (full context)
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Later, Gran cooks lamb fry, which smells awful. Tom decides to eat cereal. When Dad notices Tom looking for cereal, he winks and says... (full context)
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...about his plans to take Mum and see Daniel the next day. She suggests that Tom go with Brendan to see Fin and Aunty Kath, and then mentions that Fin will... (full context)
Chapter Five
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On Saturday, Mum and Dad drive to see Daniel while Brendan and Tom visit Fin. As Tom and Brendan head out of Coghill, Brendan stops at Jonny's house... (full context)
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When Tom returns to the car with the box, he remarks to Brendan that Chrissy thinks the... (full context)
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After a few minutes of silence, Brendan says that Daniel isn't doing well. Tom grouses that nobody tells him anything, and Brendan says that they don't actually know much—that's... (full context)
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Tom walks into the hospital and greets Fin, stopping himself from slapping Fin's hand like he... (full context)
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Fin curls his lip and asks about Tom being a "Coghill boy" now, but then apologizes for sounding harsh. Fin softly admits that... (full context)
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That night, Tom felt like himself until Snorter steered the car around the last bend. When Tom saw... (full context)
Chapter Six
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When Tom and Brendan leave the hospital, they're too exhausted to swim in the ocean so they... (full context)
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The night of the accident, Tom yelled for Daniel as Daniel ran away from the car. Matt redirected Tom to the... (full context)
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It took until morning for the paramedics to cut Fin out of the car. Tom sat with him the entire time, thankful that Fin didn't see Nicole and Luke's bodies... (full context)
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...a welcome distraction from everyone else's gloom. Brendan insists that Fin is doing well, but Tom knows that Brendan just doesn't want to upset Dad. He also knows that Dad won't... (full context)
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Mum notices Tom and invites him in. She mentions that she's hardly seen him, and Tom wants to... (full context)
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Tom goes to Kylie's room, where he finds her blasting music and sitting in front of... (full context)
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At school, the other boys talk only about rugby. Tom thinks it's weird that it feels so familiar before reflecting that rugby tryouts are also... (full context)
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...and gives a general breakdown of when games will be. He releases the class, but Tom remains seated, trying not to get sucked into the black tunnel. Rory tries to engage... (full context)
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Tom isn't sure he wants to swim, but he decides the pool is better than being... (full context)
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Tom tries to tell himself to relax as he kicks off his shoes. He leaps into... (full context)
Chapter Seven
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On Saturday, Tom has the house to himself. He can't find anything that holds his interest and he... (full context)
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Matt asks if Tom has read his emails, and Tom pretends that he does. Tom turns the conversation to... (full context)
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Tom wakes up hours later to the sound of the screen door. Dad flips on the... (full context)
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Sunday, the 28th of August was the first day of Tom's new life. Brendan arrived and took Mum to the police station. Kylie and Tom sat... (full context)
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...a plea" meant that Daniel would have to say if he's guilty or not. When Tom closed his eyes that night, he could only see Luke, Nicole, and the terror in... (full context)
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Early on Monday morning, Brendan left to be with Aunty Kath and Fin. Tom and Kylie didn't go to school, and Daniel's solicitor, Dennis Talbot, came to visit for... (full context)
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Talbot told Tom that the guilty plea was good because it showed that Daniel accepted responsibility. This might... (full context)
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...driving dangerously and causing bodily harm and two charges of driving dangerously and causing death. Tom knew that Nicole and Luke's families were there, but he didn't look around. The magistrate... (full context)
Chapter Eight
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On the day of rugby tryouts, Brendan drives Tom and Kylie to school. He teases Kylie as she puts black eyeliner on and then... (full context)
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...the way home from tryouts, Dad tries to talk positively and enthusiastically about the players. Tom believes Dad is faking it; the players are awful. He thinks that in Coghill, rugby... (full context)
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Tom is exhausted. Gran bustles around the kitchen as Tom rubs his calves, thinking he really... (full context)
Chapter Nine
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At lunch the next Tuesday, Harvey pins up the results from tryouts. Tom waits until the crowd disperses to inspect it. He's unsurprised to see that he got... (full context)
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After the accident, it was several weeks before Tom and Kylie went back to school. Matt and Snorter stuck close to Tom and Tom... (full context)
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After the first hearing, almost everyone stopped visiting the Brennans. Tom spent a lot of his time at Matt's but avoided seeing Snorter, as Snorter was... (full context)
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One night, Tom overheard Mum and Daniel talking. Mum was angrily insisting that Claire's visits weren't good for... (full context)
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The morning of Daniel's hearing, Tom woke to the sound of Daniel vomiting. Later, Mum and Dad nearly turned green when... (full context)
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In the courtroom, Tom could see Nicole and Luke's parents, as well as Matt and his mother. They all... (full context)
Chapter Ten
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Dad wakes Tom up early on Saturday morning and cooks a big breakfast. Tom is excited and nervous... (full context)
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...Brendan laments that he can't do anything for Mum—she refuses help. When Brendan suggests that Tom talk to her, Tom can only say that Mum smells and her teeth are disgusting.... (full context)
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After a while, Brendan comments that Tom hasn't seen Daniel in a while. He says that Daniel seems to look forward to... (full context)
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Tom thinks the prison feels sticky and disgusting when he and Brendan get in line for... (full context)
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Tom and Brendan sit in the waiting room and try not to catch anyone else's eye.... (full context)
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Brendan and Tom line up with other visitors and Brendan snags a table near the wall in the... (full context)
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After a few minutes of silence, Daniel starts to tremble and tells Tom that he's sorry he had to leave Mumbilli. Daniel bangs his head on the table... (full context)
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Daniel is quiet for a few minutes and then abruptly asks Tom who at Bennie's is playing five-eight. Tom is caught off guard, but answers that Rory... (full context)
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A week after the visit, Daniel moves to the peer support facility and Tom starts running in the mornings with Brendan. Tom can barely make it up the ascent... (full context)
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...to drive, and thinking that he never had that kind of experience with his dad. Tom asks Brendan why he stayed in Coghill. Brendan admits that he never actually wanted to... (full context)
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When Tom walks into the kitchen, Dad is sitting at the table with a grim look and... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
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Tom had no idea that Aunty Kath was coming during Fin's move to rehab, so he... (full context)
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...from her shower and Aunty Kath promises to make another strudel before Kylie's science class. Tom explains to the reader that Kath is an amazing cook, especially when it comes to... (full context)
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When Tom gets home from school, Aunty Kath is still in the kitchen. Pots bubble on the... (full context)
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The next afternoon, Dad and Tom arrive home to find everyone in Mum's room. Mum is curled into a ball on... (full context)
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Gran's house is quiet for the rest of the week, and Tom can't figure out why mass is a big deal on Sunday. Dad tries to make... (full context)
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Mum keeps her composure and instead of taking communion, she kneels and prays. Tom is just thankful she's up. He stands in line for communion and looks around at... (full context)
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...that Bennie's plays is at the end of April. Daniel's birthday is days later, and Tom has grand plans for a birthday gift. One weekend morning, Tom goes to see Brendan... (full context)
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As Tom starts to head back to Gran's house, he notices a car at the gate to... (full context)
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Tom takes a long time in the shower and Kylie teases him about masturbating. After finding... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
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On Wednesday night, Tom sits in his bedroom trying to work on Daniel's scrapbook. He only has Friday night... (full context)
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On Thursday morning, Tom tries to keep a straight face as Gran tapes a picture of Saint Vitus, the... (full context)
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On Friday morning, Tom and several other players hang out and talk about the match the night before. Bennie's... (full context)
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Rory and Jimmy tell Tom about where they'll have their footy camp in a few weeks. It's at a university... (full context)
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At lunch, Tom notices some girls whispering and looking at him. Tom tries to tell himself he's just... (full context)
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Tom finds Rory and Jimmy waiting by his locker after school and nervously accepts their invitation... (full context)
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Tom gets home after dark. He finds Dad, Gran, Mum, and Kylie at the table, Kylie... (full context)
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Brendan says that Chrissy heard about the speech and came looking for Tom earlier. Tom moans that everyone will know about it now. Brendan tries to tell Tom... (full context)
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Tom asks how Brendan can be so sure that nothing is going to happen. He admits... (full context)
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The next morning as Dad and Tom drive through Coghill on their way to see Daniel, Tom sees that Brendan was right:... (full context)
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...scrapbook through at the crisis center and Daniel's face brightens as he flips through it. Tom points out several pictures and he and Daniel go off down memory lane. Dad asks... (full context)
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In the car on the way home, Dad tells Tom that they got an offer on their house in Mumbilli that they're going to accept.... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
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On Monday, none of the other kids at school seem to even notice Tom and Kylie, let alone whisper about them. Rory checks and makes sure that Tom is... (full context)
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Tom and Kylie don't speak to each other. Tom feels as though he can't let Kylie... (full context)
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Tom had been hoping that Fin would drop the idea of a birthday party, but Aunty... (full context)
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Tom discovers Kylie on his bed when he gets home. She apologizes for her speech and... (full context)
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Tom relents and points out that people would've found out eventually, and he and Kylie discuss... (full context)
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At the rehab center, Tom recognizes a lot of guys from the hospital where Fin was. He tries not to... (full context)
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Fin asks if Tom saw the stacks of birthday cards he got from people in Mumbilli. Tom quietly says... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
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For the weeks that Mum and Dad are with Daniel, Tom throws himself into running with Brendan. Tom either zones out or they talk about Daniel.... (full context)
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...drill ball handling and technique. One afternoon Harvey doesn't come to practice, and Jonny asks Tom to take half the team. Grudgingly, Tom agrees. His half includes Rory, Marcus, and the... (full context)
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Brendan picks Tom up after practice and Tom jokes that his teammates are hopeless. Brendan suggests they go... (full context)
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...Jonny explains exactly how to turn the water on in the shower without getting burnt. Tom barely listens; he's concerned that the door doesn't lock. Tom finally steps into the shower... (full context)
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Jonny manages to turn the water off and hands Tom a towel, and then he and Brendan start laughing. Chrissy tries not to laugh and... (full context)
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Tom explains that the family's plan for footy camp involves complicated travel plans that will allow... (full context)
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...will top Davin's number of sexual encounters with the nurses from last year. This makes Tom feel like an outsider, as he doesn't know enough to make an informed bet. On... (full context)
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...John's in July and quickly says that they'll only play them once. The guys ask Tom how St. John's plays and they tell Tom that Dad is a great coach. Tonelli... (full context)
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Tom becomes more and more disenchanted as the week goes on. In Mumbilli, Dad used to... (full context)
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Tom is confused, but Dad continues. Dad admits that he got someone else to lead camps... (full context)
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Tom feels awful. He knows that Dad has always been willing to tell him hard truths,... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
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At the end of camp, Dad and Tom wave the rest of the boys off on the bus and then head for Westleigh.... (full context)
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Daniel asks about Harvey, and Tom explains that Harvey makes the team feel like they're better than they actually are, as... (full context)
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Daniel sighs that things are different because he messed things up and refuses to let Tom say otherwise. Daniel says seriously that he has his mentor, Jerry, and he needs to... (full context)
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When Mum, Dad, and Tom get in the car, it's already getting dark. They stop for dinner and when they... (full context)
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When Tom and Brendan run up the ascent a few days later, Brendan suggests they go away... (full context)
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Tom is excited about the lunchtime match with St. Xavier's, Bennie's brother school. Bennie's has lost... (full context)
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...she explains she is—she's thinking about going to the nursing college at the university where Tom's footy camp was. Brendan points this out, which annoys Tom, and he turns the conversation... (full context)
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Later, Tom reflects that he's totally in love with Chrissy. He hears Kylie still awake and knocks... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
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Tom sits next to Kylie, puts his arms around her, and tells her that her hair... (full context)
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Kylie asks Tom if he remembers the fight that Fin and Daniel had the week before the sudden... (full context)
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Tom admits that on the night of the accident, he told Daniel he was a jerk... (full context)
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Slowly, Tom says that Daniel is different now. Then, he drank a lot and was hung over... (full context)
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Tom says that Dad was under intense pressure, and Mum and Dad knew they couldn't control... (full context)
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Brendan asks Tom to do some work around the sheds to earn the trip to Nepal. Tom can... (full context)
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Brendan says he wants to talk about what Chrissy said at dinner the other week. Tom thinks this conversation will absolutely be a warning to not go near Chrissy, especially when... (full context)
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...is, and says he always used to call Gran's place "Saint Margalette the Butcher's." Finally, Tom says that his family members are either visiting Fin or Daniel. They discuss Kylie's haircut... (full context)
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Mum, Kylie, and Tom make dinner a few days later. It's the first time Mum has cooked in ages,... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
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On Monday morning, Tom muses that it's strange watching someone else cry. He thinks that a few months ago,... (full context)
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As Tom and Brendan run, Brendan asks Tom if he's aware that Chrissy really likes him. Tom... (full context)
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Tom says that he wants to build Gran a chicken coop and get her some chickens,... (full context)
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Tom is nervous about the upcoming match with St. John's all week, though the team makes... (full context)
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When Brendan heads into town later in the evening, Tom stays in the sheds and cleans. He checks his email and feels cowardly for not... (full context)
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Tom says that Fin never talks to him about what his life is like now, but... (full context)
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...gives everyone a pep talk, and then Tonelli insists that the team needs to support Tom. Out on the field, Matt gives Tom a thumbs-up, but Tom can barely smile back.... (full context)
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...drives for hours and near dusk, turns off the highway onto an empty dirt road. Tom finally starts laughing and Chrissy stops the car. She explains that her dad used to... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
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Because Fin is almost ready to leave the rehab center, Tom's entire family plans to spend the school holidays in Aralen helping Aunty Kath move. Tom... (full context)
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Chrissy agrees with Dad that Tom has to go see Fin. She encourages Tom to actually try to talk to Fin,... (full context)
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Tom walks around Aunty Kath's living room in her new flat, looking at all the contraptions... (full context)
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One clear day, Tom goes to the rehab center and takes Fin for a walk. They laugh that Fin's... (full context)
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...says that soon, maybe, he's going to see Daniel, since Daniel was like a brother. Tom wonders what the real difference is between brothers and cousins, given how close the three... (full context)
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Mum, Dad, and Tom return home for the last week of the school holiday. Kylie stays behind and one... (full context)
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Tom finds the last week of the holiday blissful. He loves working on the chicken coop... (full context)
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Chrissy suggests that that's a good thing, but Tom admits he didn't see Mum as a real person then—he only noticed that she was... (full context)
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Chrissy asks Tom to talk about the accident. Tom says he remembers a disgusting taste in his mouth... (full context)
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Finally, Tom finishes the chicken coop and buys three hens and a rooster. On the morning of... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
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Tom's friends hassle him about having a birthday party, but Tom knows a party at Gran's... (full context)
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One morning, Brendan and Tom run to the river and jump in. Tom thinks about bringing Chrissy to the river... (full context)
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As Brendan and Tom run back, they discuss their Everest climb. Brendan says that Tom will surely miss Chrissy,... (full context)
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The day before Tom's birthday, he drives to see Daniel with Mum and Brendan. It's a week after the... (full context)
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Brendan and Tom visit with Daniel while Mum talks to the social worker. Daniel wants to know about... (full context)
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Gran makes roast pork for Tom's birthday dinner and cooks it perfectly. Chrissy makes a cake and Jonny brings party hats.... (full context)
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Tom asks her which saint was on the card. Gran says it was Saint Clare; she... (full context)
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As Chrissy studies for her finals, Tom does his best to stay out of her way. He hangs out with Rory, Brad,... (full context)
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The next morning, when Brendan sees Tom dressed to go for a run without him, he's thrilled. Brendan talks about how hot... (full context)
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Chrissy swims to Tom and he takes her in his arms. They tell each other that they love each... (full context)