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When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne—a traveler from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.
come looking for her, even though there were more than eight hundred places to look in the Mothering Sunday Islands. She dipped her pen in the ink and crossed out Government House, Port Mercia at the top of the card, and carefully wrote underneath: “The Wreck of the Sweet Judy.” There were other changes that needed to be made. Whoever had designed the cards had completely overlooked the possibility that you might want to invite someone whose name you didn’t know, who lived on a beach, wore
on his knees. “Most of the crockery got smashed in the wreck,” said the girl sadly. “It’s a miracle I could find two cups. Will you have a scone?” She pointed at the bread things. Mau took one. It was hot, which was good, but on the other hand it tasted like a piece of slightly rotten wood. She was watching anxiously as he moved the lump around in his mouth, looking for something to do with it. “I’ve done it wrong, haven’t I?” she said. “I thought the flour was too damp. Poor Captain Roberts
the new gap, and a canoe like that needed at least two people to guide it. Mau dived into the lagoon. As he surfaced he could see that the lone paddler was already losing control; the gap in the reef was indeed big enough for a four-man canoe to come through it sideways, but any four-man canoe that actually tried anything as stupid as that while the tide was running would soon be overturned. He fought his way through the churning surf, expecting every second to see the thing break up. He
seemed to think it was very important, and Daphne tried hard to hide the fact that she’d never cooked anything in her life. She’d learned how to make some kind of drink, too, that the woman was…emphatic about. It smelled like the Demon Drink, which was the cause of Ruin. Daphne knew this because of what happened when Biggleswick the butler broke into her father’s study one night and got Rascally Drunk on whiskey and woke up the whole house with his singing. Grandmother had sacked him on the spot
rose out of the bushes and filled the air with panic and feathers. Some of the larger ones headed out to sea, but most of them just circled, as though terrified to stay but with nowhere else to go. Mau walked through them as he went down to the beach. Bright wings zipped past his face like hail, and it would have been wondrously pretty if it weren’t for the fact that every single bird was taking this opportunity to have a really good crap. If you’re in a hurry, there is no point in carrying