By Nadia Wheatley

Robust, sparse, and compelling, this selection of brief tales specializes in youngsters and their assorted kinfolk relationships. The characters research who they're and the way they healthy into their family members, their neighborhood, and their international, frequently exploring parent–teen conflicts. Skillfully instructed in a stark and haunting kind, those tales aspect the lives of 8 youth, revealing via likely mundane occasions their person realities.

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I actually didn’t believe she’d ring, any more than I really believed she’d been kidnapped. She’d taken her coat, and a sleeping bag, and all her jewellery, and my twenty dollars, when she’d gone. OK, something might have happened to her afterwards. ) It was Dad who came to the rescue. He said he’d go out and look for Maree by himself on Fridays, and Mum could stay home and mind the phone. He said he thought the two nights were too hard on Mum anyway, what with her blood pressure. (As it proved, it was my father who couldn’t really take the strain.

It just was. ’ Liv had never really thought about what had happened to the blast furnace. She had somehow imagined it slowly, slowly, subsiding back into the earth . . ‘Don’t you know, love? Late 1920s it was, start of the Great Depression, they just closed down the industry here, and everything moved to Port Kembla, down near Wollongong. By Christmas 1929, I remember, this whole site here was a ruin . ’ Liv reeled. To think that the power of something as great as the blast furnace could be broken, snap, like a twig.

But even though I rejected the moral of the picture, I was hooked on the idea of telling a story through coloured glass. I guess it was about September, October – Maree had been gone seven or eight months or so – that I saw the ad in the local paper (underneath MISSING. MAREE POWELL. PLEASE COME BACK. WE LOVE YOU. ) for evening classes in leadlight at the local Scout Hall. Leadlight. The very word somehow made my head spin. The combination of lead that was heavy, and light that was – well, light.

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