The author of the highly acclaimed, bestselling novel The Uninvited Guests returns with a captivating coming of age story told by Amy and Lan, two children whose journey from innocence to moving experience is shaped by their families' attempt at the pastoral dream on a farm, deep in the English countryside.
"The very first thing I remember is standing on the water-butt in the garden, with my Mum holding me to stop me falling, singing 'I'm On Top of the World' , and the smell of the new wood in the hot sun. And something do with Mum's silver necklace. Amy doesn't remember any of that. Her very first memory is our wolfhound Ivan knocking her over in a puddle. Or it might be eating a boiled egg, and looking at the daisies on her kitchen tablecloth."
Amy Connell and Lan Honey are having the best childhood ever. They live on a 78-acre farm in the South West of England, with sisters and brothers, other kids, chickens, goats, three dogs, and even a calf, called Gabriella Christmas.
"Honeys in the Farmhouse, Connells in the Cowhouse, Hodges in the Carthouse . . ."
The three sets of parents are best friends who came to Frith from the city, and are learning, year after year, how to farm the land.
Free and unsupervised, Amy and Lan play with axes and climb on haystacks, but there is grownup danger at Frith they don't see. It's Gail, Lan's mother, and Adam, Amy's father who should be more careful. They should learn what kids know: never to play with fire.