Plot summary- Looking for Alibrandi.
Josephine is in her final year at school ( St Martha's girls" school). Her life is complicated by the arrival of her father, Michael Andretti, who wants nothing to do with a daughter he has never seen. In the course of the year, Josephine has two boyfriends. The first is Jacob Coote, a boy with a working class background, who doesn't take school seriously; the other, John Barton, is the son of a prominent politician and whose father expects him to do Law. She decides to date Jacob. During that year, she also discovers the secrets of her family's past.
Josephine has to deal with illegitimacy, racism and class differences at school. Ivy Lloyd is her enemy and academic rival. Josephine is influenced by her peers Anna, Sera and Lee and this is to her detriment; she almost loses her vice captaincy. The pressures of the final HSC exams add another anxiety to her life. At the start of her first exam, she learns that John Barton has committed suicide.
In the course of the year, Josephine begins to develop a relationship with her grandmother, Katia Torelli. She learns that her grandmother has been harbouring a family secret for thirty-six years, which has tormented her and almost ruined a relationship with her daughter Christina. Josephine also has a typical mother-daughter relationship, fighting over rules, boyfriends, but it is positive and stronger than most because Christina has had to raise Josephine as a single parent.
In the end Josephine completes her exams but breaks up with Jacob. She has established a meaningful relationship with her father and she will continue to be influenced by two important women in her life. Josephine has achieved emancipation.
"Looking for Alibrandi is an analysis of multi-cultural Australia and the struggles that each generation of immigrants has with finding their place in Australian society and defining their identity.