Jesse and Aaron are brothers in their twenties, living on the family farm. It's not remote back-blocks, but it's still heartland rural. Jesse is a troubled, difficult, sometimes violent lad, always messing up and embarrassing his parents. Aaron's more sensible. He's marrying Carly in the local church, and they're planning their honeymoon in Fiji. One day out duckshooting the boys accidentally bring down an albatross. It's badly wounded, and the dilemma of what to do with the injured bird - and the consequences - become the central feature of the novel. Aaron gets married, but the honeymoon goes sour. Jesse's behaviour goes from bad to worse. There's violence, even murder. This is a strong, tough, heartland novel that reminds one of Tim Winton meets Ronald Hugh Morrieson. It more than confirms the huge promise displayed by Paul Shannon with his 2006 debut novel Davey Darling.
Paul Shannon's first novel Davey Darling, a well-received account of a boy growing up in a violent environment in working class Christchurch, was shortlisted for the best first book section in the Asia-Pacific region of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize.