Trudy Adams has set her book, Judging Meghan in Australia during the depression in the 1930’s. Meghan Manley, is a teenager whose family is forced to leave the family farm and travel to various towns to pick up casual labouring work. Since many find themselves in this position, wages are low and the work sporadic. Many in positions of affluence take advantage of the situation which compounds the distress.

The story raises many issues. Meghan’s parents are Christians who hold onto their faith during this difficult time whereas Meghan has difficulty reconciling a loving God with her circumstances. Meghan’s best friend from school lets her down and she has to work her way through the pain of the disappointment, but will she forgive? Meghan’s older brother and sister are developing romantic attachments and perhaps she is too. Meanwhile the wildness of the country challenges their resourcefulness.

I identified with Meghan’s struggle to understand God’s ways and also the choices others made during this difficult time in Australia’s history. I am a little mystified as to why the book is called, Judging Meghan. Unless it refers to a scene very late in the book which is perhaps meant to be Meghan’s defining moment.

An enjoyable read especially for older teenagers.