Josephine Alibrandi at seventeen is at a turning point in her life, a year where she discovers a lot about her family, her friends and herself.
Josie is a girl with a lively spirit, and a fiery attitude. She would defend her mother to the death. She feels ashamed of her background because of the place it puts her in a socioeconomic society, yet protects her heritage all the same if someone were to insult it. She seems very tough, but has a soft spot for her mother, yet they have minor fights, which reinforces their relationship every time they do.
From the way I see it, I would assume she has very minor issues with self-esteem. She had no father figure when she was younger (which can lead to later problems), and only spent time around her relatives outside of school and friends in school. Her friends were not allowed over, vice versa. This can make children wonder ‘what did I do wrong?’ when in fact they did nothing wrong at all. Josie knew from the start that she was different in relation to other children her age.
Her grandmother expects Josie to respect her, even though she has done nothing good for her family in order to get the respect she believes she deserves. Josie feels left out in comparison to her peers, who are all full Australian whilst Josie herself is Italian in background. Her family doesn’t provide enough money to pay for her school, so she got in on a scholarship. This makes me feel sympathetic for Josie, in a way. I don’t believe she should feel ashamed for not paying for a school, especially if she enrolled in a completely legal way. Although she feels as if that separates her to friends and she feels shamed that her family can not pay for her schooling, because she knows that without the scholarship she would be any other normal middle-class ‘ethnic’ trying to make her way in the world.