Publisher: Old Barn Books

Louie and his engineer dad narrowly miss being killed by a tsunami when they go to visit the Endlands on a routine work trip to inspect a pumping station. The huge wave wreaks havoc and kills hundreds of Endlanders, and Louie’s dad decides to stay and help this strange and silent group of people who live at the very margins of society.

Louie's family are still reeling from the sudden death of his older brother Toby, and their shock and grief are turning their lives and relationships upside down. Of course all Louie can think about is Toby, but his parents don't want to talk about it Instead, they withdraw, closing the door on Toby's room. There are all different kinds of aftershocks.

When Louie goes back to stay with his dad again in the school holidays he discovers the rumours of mass ghostly visitations in the Endlands are true. The Endlanders have an unusual way of dealing with their grief, gloomily telling the stories of the death of their loved ones over and over again - and seemingly actually conjuring up ghosts. Then Louie starts to hear Toby’s voice...

This is an absolutely masterful tale: a futuristic ghost story about loss, love and grief, and about families and the difficult, complicated things that we all face, including the death of a loved one. Anne Fine’s world-building pulls you into the story and the voice of Louie rings so true that a reader can’t help but be swept up in it - you might find yourself reading the book almost in one sitting as it weaves its odd spell. A beautiful, important book looking at the aftershocks of grief - and eventually how we might pick up the pieces. 

Read the blog: Anne Fine on how books can help children cope with feelings of grief

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