Hokitika, 1865, at the height of the Gold Rush. In a town with a hundred pubs, young Halfie - aka Harvey, Thumbsucker, Bedwetter, Cocoa and Pipsqueak - gets by as best he can. Most of the time he hangs around the Bathsheba pub, washing dishes, running errands and making the odd coin - and observing from close quarters the parade of miners, dancing girls, petty crims and plain drunks that passes through the doors. When you're a coin boy you see a lot of life, and from low down. But how much do you really understand? What's going on in young Halfie's world? In this beguiling new novel by the author of The Curative, a rattling good yarn reveals that life is rarely what it seems.
Charlotte Randall is the award-winning author of five novels. Her first, Dead Sea Fruit, won the South East Asian/South Pacific section of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book and the Reed Fiction Award in 1995. Her much-praised second novel, The Curative, was joint runner-up for the Deutz Medal for fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. What Happen Then, Mr Bones? (2004) and The Crocus Hour (2008) were finalists for the same award. Randall was born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand, and now lives in Christchurch with her husband and two children.