By Carole Wilkinson
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
Nic Mitchell is sent by her single dad to live at Yaratgil with her grandfather. Yaratgil is a run down cattle property pretty much in the middle of nowhere outside of Melbourne. No phone connection or internet so Nic is cut off from her friends. Bored and lonely she starts to explore the big house and the surrounding land. She discovers confronting facts about the Mitchell family history, not all of which adds up. When she learns how to slip through time she hopes to find some answers but initially the mystery of what happened at Yaratgil, of who was involved and how it relates to her today is not clear. An outsider at school, she manages to make friends with Thor, a taciturn boy with Aboriginal heritage and together they work at uncovering the dark secrets in her family’s past.
This thrilling mystery is based on true events. Famous for her meticulous research Wilkinson has successfully created times and places that you can’t forget. You can feel the heat, sense the isolation of a city girl stuck in a country town where the name Mitchell carries quite a bit of baggage. Effective use of the time slip narrative device gradually reveals the history of the land on which Yaratgil was established. The tension and mystery thus created builds to an almost unbearable weight of emotional intensity A timely and terrific read for good readers 10+ interested in uncovering significant events of Australia’s past not always taught at school.
Black Dog Books 2018 Paperback $17.99 Age 10+ ISBN 9781760650360