I am a little uncomfortable with some of the content of this story. I am not sure I condone the action of the lead protagonist, even if she is a child. The images it throws up was a little weird; since I am not an expert on mental health issues I will leave it at that. That did not deter me from enjoying the book or shedding tears at certain choice moments.
As soon as the story begins, we know the situation our ten-year-old Rae finds herself in. Her mother is gone, and she plans to keep up the pretence that everything is normal for the outside world. Each day brings with it a different struggle, especially with her neighbour harbouring her own issues.
The story moves very slowly along, but given the emotional fortitude that Rae shows while letting herself be a kid once in a while, it makes up the bulk of the narrative. There is a lot of heart within the pages, with no one coming off looking either one-dimensional or unrealistic. Everyone has layers, and when the situations call for it, behave accordingly. It was a pretty heavy read but a rich one. I would recommend it to anyone who found the plotline outlined here even remotely interesting. Also, it was based in Australia, which is different from the usual locations that I read books from.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers; the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.