In the books Barracuda, written by Christos Tsiolkas and Butterfly, written by Sonya Hartnett, there is a strong theme of family and parent-child relationships present all throughout. Both stories feature protagonists caught in the throes of adolescence – a time in which a sense of identity begins to emerge in young people – and the way in which these stories explore these issues of growing up are tied very closely to the family. Through this, Barracuda and Butterfly are able to present to the audience an authentic take on growing up and what it means to truly be at home; what it means to belong.
Set in the 1990s, Barracuda is a novel that follows the life of fourteen year old Danny Kelly as he journeys through adolescence and reaches adulthood. The story is told through non-linear narrative, jumping from first to second person; from Danny to Dan, from child to man. Danny is a gifted swimmer, accepted into a prestigious private school on a sports scholarship. He immediately feels out of place among his peers – at fourteen, Danny is competitive and angry and has a great desire to be the strongest, the fastest, the best. At first it seems Danny 's sense of displacement stems from the bullying at his new school, but through observing the way in which Danny interacts with his family it is obvious that this is not the case. Thrust into a world where he does not belong, Danny feels a deep sense of shame that is tied closely to his family and cultural background. This is a