This is the only book I've read by Bryce Courtenay so far and he does indeed seem unerringly positive. And boy does he nail the contrary atmosphere of Sydney!
Although the events which shake the main character seem slightly contrived, if I had not read the autobiography of a British newscaster who's life did indeed parallel this character's, to a surprising degree, I might have called the whole show unbelievable.
Quite the opposite is true. While not spectacular or strongly compelling, emotionally, as fiction goes, the book certain makes me look forward to reading the Power of One with great pleasure. RIP Mr. Courtenay.