Floodline is set in a fictional city which is destroyed by a flood on the eve of a huge gay mardis gras. Mikey Brown travels to Horneville with her sons Talent and Mustard (named for the parables). Mikey is driven, feisty, dynamic - and the host of a Christian shopping channel. The journey is more than a flood clean-up for Mikey: she wants to save the city and teach its godless inhabitants a lesson. Her husband had been lost to her and her boys after attempting to 'mission' to this same festival. Her journey to the city is an attempt to lay her past - and his - to rest. Enthusiastic, ebullient eight-year-old Mustard doesn't believe his father is dead. He knows that he will find his Dad in Horneville - which is why he slips away from his family and goes looking for him once they reach the ruined city. The flood water surrounding the Horneville City Hospital is steadily rising, turning what has been a place of refuge into a disaster zone. Gina is a nurse who has always taken the line of least resistance and remained emotionally distant from her work, but in the face of utter chaos she is forced to make a life-and-death decision with shattering repercussions. Both Gina and Mikey have to stare down their pasts in order to live again. Unexpected salvation can be found on the edge of disaster, but will they have the courage to find it? This extraordinary novel is a brilliant feat of imagination and characterization from an acclaimed writer at the height of her great powers. It is surprising, revelatory and original in every way.
Kathryn Heyman is the author of four novels, including The Accomplice and Captain Starlight's Apprentice, published internationally and in translation. She has received an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and been nominated for the Orange Prize, the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Critic's Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards. She has written several radio plays for BBC radio, including adaptations of her own work. Her fifth novel, The Floodline, will be published in 2013.