The story is set in a small town somewhere in Australia but the reality is it could be anywhere at all, in any country as the underlying story line is very easily able to be transposed to life in general and how we see and view people.
Luke Miggs is over life on the farm, the endless round of work, footy, drinking and come Monday the never ending circle begins once again. He wants more; more of whatever can be discovered away from the town he grew up in, away from the friends of his youth and his family.
He is a pretty good football player and there is a real possibility that he may be spotted and possibly get a chance at the ‘big league’, the AFL. He has a crush, which seems to be all one sided, on the local barmaid, Amanda Hunt, who also has dreams and ambitions far, far away from her dad’s pub.
The Ravens Footy Club are always the also-rans in the local completion, not having won a premiership for 18 years and Luke often wishes the other members of the team would shape up and really take on the Scorpions, the team which had won the competition for ten years straight. The fact that the Scorpions play hard, brutal football under the tough coach Claude Rankin simply means that this year, things will probably go the same way, with the Scorpions punching, brawling and stomping their way to victory.
That is until Adam Pride, a stranger to the town, turns up at footy practice one night wanting to play for the Ravens that things begin to turn around. But as the weeks go bye, Adam remains still a stranger, but somehow not a stranger, as he says he has a farm out of town a bit, but is never seen about the place, other than at the footy oval.
He and Luke strike up a friendship of sorts looking out for each other on game days and looking after each other backs during play. His talent is remarkable and inspires the rest of the team to try harder, to work smarter. As a consequence the team begin to win more games than they lose.
Amanda writes for the local paper and decides to do an article on Adam and his obvious talent for footy, which gets picked up by one of the major papers, who request they be able to run her story and also would like her to do a follow-up on this remarkable young indigenous s talent.
But all is not as it would seem as the longer Adam remains in town, continuing to play exceptional football, the past begins to return to the present, causing several of the town’s people to look back with disturbing results.
As a novel wrapped about the coming of age of young men and women it is beautifully crafted, weaving several very distinctive strands together to create a novel which is confrontational, placed very firmly in today’s world and takes a serious look at the consequences of decisions, made and actions taken.
A gripping read.