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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.
last time. There was a faint smile on the wooden lips, and someone had put a garland of flowers around her neck. Daphne curtsied to her, because if any nonliving thing had earned respect, it had been the Judy. Daphne had been taught to curtsy years ago, and on the island it had been a skill less useful than ice skating, but just this once it was exactly the right thing to do. A boat waited on the edge of the lagoon. It had been waiting for some time. The crowd had wandered off, because there
this arm…” He turned to show her. “The sunset wave,” said Daphne. “Oh, I’m so glad you decided to have it done at—” “Look again, ghost girl,” said Mau, smiling. “What? Er…oh, the wave is going the wrong way.” “The right way. It’s the sunrise wave, and we are its children, and we will not go into the dark again. I vow it. It’s a new world. It needs new people. And you are right. Your father is a good man, but he needs you more than…this island does.” “Well, I think—” “He needs your
thought. Perhaps they used to really think, but the thoughts have worn out from being thought so often? “I will keep the baby alive if I have to milk every pig on this island,” he said, but it was horrible to think that he might have to. No reply. “I thought you might like to know that,” he said, “since he will be taught about you. Probably. He’ll be a new generation. He’ll call this place home. Like I do.” The reply came slowly and sounded grinding and cracked: YOU SHAME THE NATION! HE IS
see a steadily growing pile of planks, spars, and sailcloth on the beach. Since there was going to be a future, it would need a roof over its head. The Judy was dying. It was sad, but they were only finishing what the wave had begun. It would take a long time, because a boat is quite hard to take to bits, even when you’ve found the carpenter’s toolbox. But what a treasure it was on an island that, before the wave, owned two knives and four small three-legged cauldrons. Together, Mau and the
the spider is, the less likely it is to be venomous.” She didn’t believe it. She could see Regrettable Examples everywhere, and she was sure that some of them were drooling. —And suddenly there was clear daylight ahead. She would have run toward it, but there was—by good fortune not apparent at the time—a Regrettable Example using its web as a trampoline and she had to ease her way past it with caution. This was just as well, because while the end of the path offered vast amounts of fresh air,