The past is never history.
Eve, now 34 and a concert cellist living in London, returns to an Australian country town for the funeral of her old school friend, Meg. As Eve and Sarah, also a school friend, face their friend Meg's death, they must also face the past and the secret the three women shared.
Eve, Meg and Sarah met as boarders at Hetherington Girls' School in leafy Sydney. Despite their differences they became friends and as their years as boarders unfold they help each other cope with homesickness, new routines, different expectations.
Eve's parents own a chemist in a mid-sized rural NSW town. She is thoughtful, talented and uncomplicated. Meg is the tomboy of the group, the only child of a sheep farmer from western NSW. Her mother died when she was four and it has been Meg and her Dad on the farm ever since.
Sarah's parents live in the city and she is a weekly boarder. Her parents are busy professionals and thought it best for her routine and education for Sarah to board. Sarah tries not to look out the window of the boarding house and see the red tiled roof of her home four kilometres away.
Life changes for the girls when Rebecca Thornton arrives. Some bullies are created from the perfect storm: insecurity, intelligence, looks, a need for attention. Rebecca was born one.
In Years Eight and Nine at Hetherington, Rebecca plays her psychological games with Eve. There are small hits and big ones. She draws Eve in, making Eve want to be her friend, and throws her away for everyone's amusement. Eve's bullying manifests itself in self- harm. Sarah's impotence leads to her controlling one thing: her food intake.
At 15, Rebecca and her family go overseas, Meg returns from her scholarship and the girls' lives appear to return to normal. But in their final year of school Rebecca returns. She befriends the girls, then begins her games again. The events of their final year of school torment and scar these young women as they attempt to lead fulfilling and productive adult lives.
Reading Group Book Questions
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 1st April 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.6 x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.465