Swimming on Dry Land
‘Blackhurst’s prose is so vivid that the reader can almost taste the dust and feel the unrelenting heat’ – Books Ireland
Set in a small fictional mining town in south-west Australia, Monica Harvey, a twelve-year-old English girl, is looking for her younger sister, Georgie. The Harvey family has recently moved to Akarula, having been persuaded to set out in search of a new life by their rich Uncle Eddie, who owns the town. Monica discovers Georgie down one of the disused mine shafts but when she returns later that day with her father and Uncle Eddie, Georgie has disappeared.
It becomes clear that Georgie’s is not the first disappearance in the town. Eddie, a self-made money-man – a dreamer whose main concern is to save his beloved town – has thus far concealed the disappearances from his brother, Michael. But as the search for Georgie widens, the pressure intensifies and Eddie’s dream-like vision of his town gradually implodes. Mr M, the only aborigine left in Akarula, sees it all from his seat under the town’s single tree, giving rise to local superstition and fears.
As the history of the land unfolds new possibilities and answers to the mysterious disappearances slowly suggest themselves.