A troubled childhood, unstable home life and childhood death feature in this novel. This event and the circumstances leading up to it have stayed with the sisters for many years. Finally they realise, for the sake of their own sanity, they must find answers from their estranged parents. Despite everything they have lived through, the human spirit never ceases to amaze me - both girls have great empathy for the lost, the poor and the troubled.
The whole trip home I had thought obsessively about what we could do. Tom might sell out and take a quiet retirement. It was a wrench when I recognized that despite all the humiliations and failures of my classes - the older kids who had graffitied crude pictures of fornication into my desks, the parents who wanted to know when I would teach their kids real history with exams about dates and names - I desperately wanted the school to stay open. We'd had students arrive in Year 7 functionally illiterate, and leave the school reading. I'd taught the children of Iranian asylum seekers whose parents had resisted their own government and fled in the night, as well as teenage potheads and girls like Selena who loved school but pretended not to. I realized I had been smug, quietly self-satisfied.