A group of children use an abandoned shed in the fields near their apartment block as a summer hang-out. Three boys and two ten-year-old girls. Lazily, in the stifling heat, they listen to their REM tapes and explore each other's bodies. Away from parental eyes and in imitation of their older brothers and sisters, they start to take things too far, but it is only when the ringleader and wild card, fourteen-year-old Mirko, introduces the adult world of pornography into their games that irreparable damage is done. This intelligent and deeply disturbing first novel bravely confronts a subject that many shy away from - the sexuality of children. A cause of great controversy when first published in Italy, it will leave no reader indifferent. Like Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden or William Golding's Lord of the Flies, it creates an intense, claustrophobic world where adults are shadowy, absent figures and children play out their own shocking versions of adulthood. Written in a controlled, spare yet beautiful prose, it marks Simona Vinci out as one of Italy's most interesting young writers.