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Fire Fire

Fire Fire by Eva Sallis
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‘Musicians, artists and poets,' Acantia says. ‘That's what you'll be. Just like Pa and me.' She sighs happily. ‘No contaminants here! You'll be as pure as the Aborigines.'

The Houdinis have escaped the great world to Whispers, a dilapidated and isolated farm in the heart of the Australian bush. Acantia Houdini the painter has grand plans. Her seven children and famous violist husband are to become self-sufficient, and creativity will rule.

All is not, however, home-grown spinach and classical music. The family is under threat from the outside and from within.

Ursula watches her brothers and sisters adapt, thrive and then wither as they experience a bewildering mix of love, neglect and cruelty. Ursula grows slowly to a full awareness of her skewed world and is driven ultimately to escape. But it will cost her more than she can guess. Family is everything. She has everything to lose.

Fire Fire is shocking, absurd, tender and grotesque. In language spun with masterly control and much humour, Sallis captures the resilience and confusion of growing up. A completely surprising story of love and damage.

Allen & Unwin; July 2004
ISBN 9781741152005
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Title: Fire Fire
Author: Eva Sallis
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