A family mix-up means Louie has to tag along with his engineer father and his team as they head for a routine job in the farthest flung and most neglected province of the Federation. A massive earthquake, with ensuing tsunami, devastates the entire isolated coastal region, laying bare the other-worldly manner in which the silent and strange Endlanders deal with life, death, and the hinterlands of memory and loss. Their curious and unsettling ways raise ghosts for Louie, who has recently lost his own brother.
This modern fable – part ghost-story, part coming-of-age novel, and part astute social and family observation – explores the ways in which grief can affect not only individuals, but communities at large.
a weird and wonderful triumph; a challenging, powerful book – this is Fine at her very best The Times Children’s Book of the Week, February 2022 — Alex O’Connell ― The Times
fast-paced and vivid — Charlotte Cripps ― The Independent
The former Children’s Laureate never writes the same book twice and this is a startlingly original concept: part a dystopian story of a climate affected future, part very creepy ghost story, part coming of age, part an agonisingly accurate portrait of a family under stress and ultimately a philosophical examination of how individuals and society handle death and grief. If this sounds a lot for a relatively slim novel, be reassured that you are in the hands of an expert who writes without a wasted word… A brilliantly rewarding read. — Joy Court ― LoveReading4Kids
Anne Fine has crafted a story which is gripping, atmospheric, deeply moving and full of wisdom… I am astounded by the power of this book. — Veronica Price ― V’s View from the Bookshelves
The most life-affirming book I have read regarding grief and the hold it can have over those who are left behind. — Sarah Broadley ― My Book Corner blog
A very other-worldly novel that explores ideas of loss and grief both on a macroscopic and microscopic level and the kinds of collateral damage that can arise from this within families… how well Anne realises the emotional capacity of boys and how timely that feels amidst discussions on toxic masculinity. — Jake Hope ― reading consultant
… a gripping supernatural yet spiritual read that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. — Emma Kuyateh ― Primary Teacher Bookshelf