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This is a story that can only be told in a whisper... In the remote outback of North-west Australia, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife Stella raise a curious child, Perdita. Her childhood is far from ordinary; a shack in the wilderness, with a distant father burying himself in books and an unstable mother whose knowledge of Shakespeare forms the backbone of the girl's limited education. Emotionally adrift, Perdita develops a friendship with an Aboriginal girl, Mary, with whom she will share a very special bond. She appears content with her unusual family life in this remote corner of the globe until Nicholas Keane is discovered murdered. Through this exquisite story of a young girl's survival against the odds, Gail Jones explores the values of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice with a skill that has already earned her numerous accolades for her previous novels Dreams of Speaking and Sixty Lights.