I have been meaning to read this book since it came out and I had it down for a few different challenges, so I was very happy when it arrived as part of a bookring, a great book and free too! The novel is focused on a small island in Papa New Guinea, the islands men have travelled to Australia to work in the mines leaving the women and children on the island till they can find a way to join the men. Then war strikes, daily routines are hit and dreams of seeing fathers and husbands again are put on hold. The only white man on the island decides to start up the school again, many of the lessons are dedicated to Great Expectations, the children are gripped. Matilda the main character uses the novel as a means of escape from the war and also a way to understand the world around her. I thought that this was one of the best reads of this year so far. The language was fantastic, the characters well rounded and the shock well placed. Definately a novel I'll be recommending to others.