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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.
there was a total insufficiency of anything to stand on. There was a little clearing, big enough for a couple of people to sit and watch the world, and then a drop all the way to the sea. It wasn’t a totally sheer drop; you’d bounce off rocks several times before you ever hit the water. She took the opportunity to take a few breaths that didn’t have flies in them. It would have been nice to see a sail on the horizon. In fact it would be narratively satisfying, she considered. But at least she
he’d built on the Boys’ Island, which always seemed to know what he wanted. The Sweet Judy had a good soul, he could tell. It was a shame to break her up, and another kind of shame to know that, once again, they had to rely on the trousermen to get things done. He was almost ashamed of carrying one of the smaller crowbars himself, but they were so useful. Who but the trousermen had so much metal that they could afford to make sticks out of it. But the bars were wonderful. They opened anything.
the track and were out of sight, Mau stepped forward. “We could rush them. The rain’s on our side,” Pilu whispered. “You heard the big one. I can’t risk her being killed. She saved my life. Twice.” “I thought you saved her life.” “Yes, but the first time I saved her life, I saved mine, too. Do you understand? If she hadn’t been here, I’d have held the biggest rock I could find and gone into the dark current. One person is nothing. Two people are a nation.” Pilu’s forehead wrinkled in
gentlemanly of them!” “They would feed you to their wives, so that they become beautiful.” There was one of those pauses that are icy-cold and red-hot at the same time. It was stuffed with soundless words, words that should not be said, or said another time, or in a different way, or could be said or needed to be said but couldn’t be said, and they would go on tumbling through the pause forever, or until one of them fell out— “Ahem,” said Daphne, and all the other words escaped forever. Much
cracks in them, and the last one’s inside looked as knobbly as the moon. They did not look like the kind of cannon you wanted to fire if you had been raised in the belief that, when it came to cannon, the ball should come out of the front. But Mau wouldn’t listen to her when she tried to talk to him about it, and a look came over his face that she’d seen before. It said: “I know what I’m doing. Don’t bother me. Everything will be all right.” And in the meantime, down by the fire, Milo and Pilu