Playing with fire

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  • Published 20070904
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

“NOTHING MUCH” WAS the usual reply when asked what was going on. Nothing much went on in the summer of my twelfth year, the twentieth year of drought in our valley across the Great Dividing Range, which our geography teacher said did not divide anything and by standards of the world was not that great.

School broke up, which meant there really was nothing much to do. Both Mum and Dad worked at a couple of jobs and so we didn’t go away until the last week of the holidays. It was so hot that even Mrs Phelan, who disapproved of bad language, agreed when Mr Hooper said “bloody hot”. I had been hit for using that adjective – correctly, I thought – to describe Custer’s last stand as a “bloody mess”. But I was a smarty-pants, too big for my boots, and had to watch myself.

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