Howker captures her characters beautifully! They feel real and authentic, just like the story!
It is a story about a boy (Bill) growing up in a small town, raised only by his father - and partially his grandfather. It is a story about a town loosing its last big factory, and with it, it's last big employer. Common people like Bill's dad and granddad suddenly loose their job, having to life on the dole. Bill, not the most motivated student in school, but a practical handyman, witnesses a town of workers falling into a depression. In addition, a wild beast starts terrorizing the surrounding area, attacking kettle and small farm animals. Bill tries to cope with his grandfather moving in with them, his father's unemployment, and the challenge to find the beast. At least he has his best mate Mick, or not?
It is a social commentary of the time the book was written in (1985), but in big parts it can still be applied to today's society.
Told in first person narration by Bill himself, it's an easy to read book - but beware the accent.