Incurable  - John Marsden

Incurable is Ellie’s second adventure post-war, and in it she again tangles with the rebel group Liberation, realises she has feeling for Jeremy, and helps Gavin find his lost sister.


Incurable is much more post-war than While I Live. In fact, the only scene showing the war happened was when Ellie once again rode to the rescue of her Liberation friends. The rest of the novel was about cementing her relationship with Gavin: doing farm work together, looking for him when he went missing – again – and rescuing him when his life was in danger. It’s clear by now that Ellie loves the little rascal with all her heart, and it’s heartwarming to see this war-hardened tween boy return her affection.


I confess I haven’t thought much of Gavin in previous novels. I kind of thought of him as a pain in the butt. But even though he has more issues than a shell-shocked veteran, I kind of grew to like him in this novel. Ellie clearly loves him and risks her life multiple times to ensure his safety, including riding into enemy territory, rock-climbing without safety equipment, and launching herself at a man with a butcher’s knife. It goes to show how brave and resourceful Ellie is, and it’s nice to see some of the other characters recognising this and actually admiring her, rather than being all boy-like about it and not talking about it at all, wishing they’d been as brave as her.


I love the title of this novel: Incurable. The war has affected the kids in ways that make them incurable, unable to face modern-day life without the risk and thrill they experienced during war time. It’s sad that this affects little Gavin as well as Homer and Ellie, but it’s to be expected.


I’m looking forward to the final novel in this series, and one of the reasons why is because I want to know which boy she’s going to pick out of the three potential love interests. While she’s not interested in one and another doesn’t seem interested in her in that way, I have my sights set firmly on the third. I also want to know if she finishes school, what will happen to the farm and Gavin, and how the peacekeeping on the border is going to work. I hope all of that can be wrapped up in one last novel. We’ll have to see.


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