Singer-songwriter Holly Throsby has situated her debut novel in a fictional small Australian country town in the early 1990s. She describes the idiosyncratic lives of the inhabitants of Goodwood through the eyes of seventeen year old Jean who has returned with her mother to this small town from the city. Jean narrates the circumstances of the mysterious disappearances of two of the townsfolk and the resulting investigation. In observing the reactions of and the effects upon a close community, Jean learns much about small town life and about herself.
This is a coming of age novel, a mystery and a character study and it crosses these genres with great effect. It is deftly written with warmth and depth. This town and the characters inhabiting it will remain with readers long after closing the book.