'I always been a coin boy . . .'
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.
'Among our contemporary writers of adult fiction, only Elizabeth Knox can match Charlotte Randall for the sheer scope of her imagination.' - New Zealand Listener