Dear Zliv,
It’s me you want, not Gabriek or Anya.
I caused your brother’s death, just me.

Book cover - MaybeThis is the sixth book in Felix’s long story of friendship and survival, and its seeds were sown in several of the earlier volumes.

Felix’s whole life up till now has been lived in a world of maybe. War is full of uncertainty – you can never be sure if your home, family, pets, friends, school or even self will be around tomorrow. If you’re an optimist like Felix, you hope they will. You want your loved ones to have a future and you want to have one with them.

You also want a future because the world fascinates you with its possibilities. Which is another type of maybe. Maybe, you think, the world will manage, with help from us, to be the best world it can. Which is one of the things I really like about Felix. He’s growing up in the worst of worlds but because of the love and friendship in his life, he can imagine the best. Perhaps. Maybe. With a bit of luck.

I knew from writing Now, the book that jumps ahead to Felix’s 80th birthday, that he comes to Australia as a fourteen year old. And I knew that one day I’d have to write about this huge adventure. There are few life experiences as full of maybes as crossing the world to start a new life. Maybe I won’t like it. Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll be lonely. Maybe I won’t.

There’s another big maybe for Felix in this book. He’d like to leave the sadness and grief of wartime behind him in Europe and start his new life in the Aussie sunshine freed from these cares. But our painful pasts have the habit of travelling with us, and a particular part of Felix’s does just that.

Felix suspects he might need to have a fight to the death with a revenge-crazed Polish killer. Australia, he hopes, will be a better place for this to happen with its fully-functioning police force and less rubble to trip over than in Europe.

This is the kind of maybe we readers welcome. We want to know what’ll happen, and even as we read the story to find out, we’re imagining the possibilities. How will Felix survive? Maybe he’ll fight. Maybe he’ll hide. Maybe he’ll make friends with a big tough Aussie bloke and get him to do the stabbing. Maybe he won’t. Maybe his friend Anya will help him instead, and not just because he’s fallen in love with her.

Maybe … maybe … maybe …

Book cover - MaybeMaybe is available in bookshops and libraries in Australia and New Zealand, and online: