"This is a novel set in contemporary Australia. An atmosphere of drought and fire dominates parts of the state of Victoria and intrudes itself inexorably into the everyday life of the people living there. It impacts on Jay, a young woman living alone, already battling the disturbing thoughts, images and voices inhabiting her mind while she sustains an apparently normal life. It challenges Tom and his Irish wife Maeve with its threat to personal life, strength and security, established, as it has ever been, over generations living on their rural property. Their vulnerability and the secrets of their lives are exposed, Finally, it provides a backdrop to the events intervening in the lives of a transient family which eventually falls apart in the face of family violence. The theme of loss and disintegration are threaded throughout, with Jay being the connecting factor between all the characters. They develop, or have thrust upon them, new ways of surviving. There can be no complete resolution, but in one way or another, in all these connected lives, some path ahead is opened up and a peace, however temporary, emerges."