Author(s): Jennifer Lane
A girl called Gracie. A small town called Coongahoola with the dark Bagooli River running through it. The Bleeders - hundreds of `Believers' who set up on the banks of the river, who start to buy up the town and win souls. The River Children - born in the aftermath of the infamous River Picnic. They begin to go missing, one after another. Gracie Barrett is the naively savvy spokesperson for her chaotic family (promiscuous dad, angry mum, twins Lucky and Grub, Elijah the River Child and fervent, prayerful Grandma Bett), for the kids who are taken, for the lurking fear that locks down the town and puts everyone under suspicion. Gracie is funny and kind, bullied and anguished, and her life spirals out of control when she discovers she knows what no one else does: who is responsible for the missing children. Coongahoola is where hope and fear collide, where tender adolescence is confronted by death, where kindness is a glimmer of light in the dark. All Our Secrets is jaunty, quirky and heart-achingly real.
All our Secrets is really a 'cross-over' novel - with great appeal for thirteen-year-olds up.
Jennifer Lane was a winner of New Zealand Book Month's Six Pack 2 competition in 2007 and her short stories have been published on both sides of the Tasman. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with her husband and two daughters, but feels equally at home in New South Wales, Australia, where she was born and where All our Secrets is set.