A widowed potter lives in the Blue Mountains, occupying his days with his friends and his workshop. Deep in the bush on the way to a favourite clay dig, he finds a chocolate wrapper and it leads him to three wary siblings sleeping rough in a cave. Evading police and social services and the inconstant attentions of absent parents, the teenage Jade is fiercely protective of the younger Emma and Todd.
Russell slowly gains their trust and gradually, improbably, a bond forms. Its a kind of alchemy like the almost accidental perfection of an earthenware piece and a clever way to write a book. I loved the detailed description of Russell’s contemplative methods and the touching way the children took to his instruction, as well as the sense of place which can only come from a writer with a deep appreciation for that part of the world. A little treasure of a novel about human goodness and ingenuity.
Scribe Publications 2019