Ellie lives in a very rough part of Boltby, an industrial town in the North West of England, and she often feels that she is the only sensible member of her family. Her mother is always on the tiles, her older brother is more absent than present, and her younger brother has Downs Syndrome- they all need looking after one way or another. But the bright spot in her life is the little antique writing desk that comes into her mother's antique shop, which by its very existence encourages her to write. nfortunately she really has a lot to write about, what with drive-by racists haunting their street, BNP stickering, and Asian lads fed up with being victimised. As she becomes intrigued by the refugee story of her Jewish neighbour, who escaped from Germany after Kristallnacht, Ellie is herself unwittingly diarising the build up to race riots and widespread mayhem.
Richard MacSween has worked in various industries including forestry and construction, but now teaches English at a Further Education College. He has written poetry for several magazines, had a short story broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and one of his plays was performed at the Edinburgh Festival.