This relatively short book covers a massive breadth of human experience in Australia, Iraq and the U.S. Reading it feels like pulling together tiny threads through fog as you begin to understand the connections between the many characters and places. But that fog doesn't obscure the unflinching portrayal of the bleak realities of contemporary life among those most vulnerable, or the enjoyment of finding the end of the thread.
She’d looked it up, the neck shackles and chains. She wanted to find out if it was possible that Bert had seen it, followed the tracks of prisoners, that it wasn’t a memory passed down. A photograph in 1935 showed a group of Aboriginal men in chains standing around a dead bullock, their crime … In Queensland, she read, the practice was not phased out until 1960. She could not find out when the same was done in the Territory. When she asked Eileen if she knew, the arts manager retorted, ‘Who says it’s been phased out?’