Falling From GraceAuthor: Jane Godwin
Stock: In stock at the publisher and usually ships by us in 7 - 10 days. Allow a few extra days for delivery
Add this book to your reading list
If you stand on Cheviot Hill at Point Nepean, you can see the ocean on one .side and the bay on the other. The bay is protected by the headland: it's calm and blue like a photo in a holiday brochure. The ocean looks wild because . . . well, because it's an ocean – it's Bass Strait, it might be close to the bay but they're so different it's hard to believe that only a five minute walk separates them.
Still, on that day, that night, it felt as if they weren't separate, as if the ocean didn't stop where it was meant to, it came right on over and swept into the bay.
When Grace got lost, I had to go with her. Grace would never have found her way out, not when it was starting to get dark.
But, as it happened, neither of us found our way out. I couldn't find it either.
Grace, she's my sister. She's exactly eleven months older than me. That means that for one month every year, we're the same age. That month is June, and it was June when Grace got lost. June the twenty-fifth, when we were both twelve.
In my opinion, winter at the beach is almost as good as summer. I wouldn't know what Grace prefers because Grace isn't the sort of person who likes comparisons, or lists of your five favourite things to eat, or anything like that. You can't pin Grace down on anything.
In winter, we play tracking. Two people wait and the rest go and hide in the dunes. You have to leave markers, like arrows made of sticks, to show where you've gone.
You've got half an hour to hide and then the others come to find you. You can leave tracks and markers that are straightforward, or you can try to trick the finders. You can leave tracks to the water and then walk along the water's edge so that there are no footprints to follow. Sometimes I walk backwards really carefully in my own footprints.
Grace got lost because she saw a penguin. She loves animals and she wants to be a vet. I don't mind animals. Basically, I can take them or leave them, but Grace would never leave an animal anywhere.
That was what got us into trouble.
We were playing tracking at Point Nepean. It's a thin strip of land that stretches out into the sea. It's a peninsula. Mum had walked home with our little brother Simon, but I wanted to hide without him tagging along. So Dad, Grace and I were having one last game.
Point Nepean used to be called Fort Nepean, and the army still uses it for training. There are cyclone-wire fences everywhere and signs that say Do Not Touch Anything – It May Explode And Kill You. Those signs make me laugh. Nothing's going to kill me, but Grace always gets this worried look on her face when we pass one.
'Don't be stupid, Grace,' I said. 'Nothing's going to get you.' I made an arrow with three sticks pointing in the wrong direction, to trick Dad, then we went down along the beach all the way to the end.