Marlo said suddenly, ‘I don’t like it here.’ Something in her voice was wild, almost pleading, and Skip turned to her sharply. Marlo looked helpless, lost, and with an aching heart Skip vowed that somehow, in some way, she would make things better for them both…
After their mother is sectioned, Skip and Marlo Wells are farmed out to relatives in a backwater town called Crater Lakes. Sixteen-year-old Marlo spends her days working in the family hardware store, while twelve-year-old Skip spends hers avoiding their overbearing aunt and fighting at the local school. Both sisters dream daily of escape, but first impressions can be deceiving. When they meet their new neighbours, Skip’s classmate Honza and his older brother Pavel, they begin to see a different side to the town. As the hot Australian days roll by, the Wells sisters begin to settle into Crater Lakes, where they discover that prejudice and violence run deep, but belonging and family run deeper.
“I enjoyed this hugely. It’s a vivid evocation of a small town in South Australia in the early 70s which, beneath the exoticism, is pretty much like a small town anywhere. The novel is populated by some fascinating monsters and the young girl at the heart of the story is an enthralling and complex figure.”
– Charles Palliser