They’ve been missing since Wednesday. Two young girls, holidaymakers, who disappeared from West Beach some time between three-fifteen and five. They’re about the same height, these girls, with the same brownish-blondish hair, but it turns out that they’re friends, and not sisters like I thought.
“Best friends,” the policewoman says. “Ordinary children, like any of you.”
From the moment that fourteen-year-old Janie learns of the tourists’ disappearance from her coastal town, she’s obsessed.
It’s the start of the summer holidays and desperate to escape her dysfunctional home, Janie sets out to find the girls herself – unaware that her curiosity will lead her into a disturbing adult world where nothing is quite what it seems.
Amidst growing media hysteria and family tension, her search begins to raise other, deeper questions concerning the disappearance of her own mother eleven years previously. Precocious, unguided, and overwhelmed, Janie finally penetrates her family’s silence to unearth a heartbreaking secret of loss and abuse that lies far too close to home . . .
a dark, compelling novel, with some superficial similarities to Jill Dawson’s ‘Watch Me Disappear’ . . . The language is seductive and draws the reader into Janie’s complicated world, which features a pregnant older teenage sister, an absent mother and a neurotic aunt. As Janie’s life collides with the public drama being played out over the hunt for two missing girls, the reader is forced to reconsider the line between childhood and adulthood. Mslexia