Through the long years of the Great Depression, Harper Flute watches with a child's clear eyes her family's struggle to survive in a hot and impoverished landscape. As life on the surface grows harsher, her brother Tin escapes ever deeper into a subterranean world of darkness and troubling secrets, until his memory becomes a myth barely whispered around the countryside.
'In its evocation of the adult world seen through the eyes of a child, this book has the feel of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird . . . A deep, and deeply moving, novel.' The Guardian (UK)
'If Hartnett was published in the era before young-adult fiction and I was casting about for comparisons, then the name Harper Lee wouldn't be a bad call.' Sunday Age
'Like all of Hartnett's novels, this one is inhabited by engagingly vulnerable, sometimes damaged characters, and it unfolds in mesmerisingly precise and minutely observant prose.' Canberra Times