Joy Dettman was born in Echuca in Victoria and spent her early years in small country towns in NSW and Victoria. She now lives in Melbourne. A mother of four, she is a full-time writer and author of several award-winning stories. Her first novel Mallawindy was a huge success, and was followed by highly acclaimed novels Jacaranda Blue, Goose Girl, Yesterday's Dust and The Seventh Day.
Lori Smyth-Owen isn't your average teenager - as you'd expect from the only girl in a family of twelve. Or they were a family, until their father took his own life to escape his bed-bound wife, too obese to leave her room.
But for Lori and the remaining brothers, there is no escape from their volatile, mentally unstable mother. They raise themselves away from the gaze of the authorities, realising that though abandoned, they are now in charge. They can control everything, including their mother's food intake.
In time, their mother emerges, after losing two-thirds of her body weight. But does she bring with her the seed of hope for a better future, or will all hell break loose?