One clear evening in 1992 all the inhabitants enter the church hall, where they are locked in and burned alive. They have been persuaded to do this by a young man called Caleb Mean - also known as El Nino, the Christ Child. The only survivors of the fire are Caleb, his lover Virginia, and their baby daughter Golden. How could such a thing happen? And why? Do the answers lie in the tragedy of the Aborigines herded over the cliffs at Cape Grimm by white settlers? Are they in the history of Skye itself, founded by the unlikely survivors of a 19th-century shipwreck? Or do they lie within the mysteries of the human soul?
Carmel Bird is one of Australia's most dazzling and imaginative writers. She is a leading author of short stories (see the collection THE ESSENTIAL BIRD) and novels, including the Miles Franklin-shortlisted RED SHOES and, most recently, CAPE GRIMM. She is also the author of the non-fiction guide WRITING THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE.