A suburban couple have drifted into the shallows of middle-aged boredom. Their fourteen-year-old son is a stranger, meeting their attempts at love with hostile indifference. Surly at home, he is a dab hand at shoplifting and looks like sliding into delinquency. Moving from Brisbane to a country convent and the Gold Coast, the novel is a brilliant, witty porttrait of the surface of ordinary life. The Leverson family and their connections appear normal but desire and inner emotion are never quite so simple.