Megan Taylor (a published student)
June 2007
Flame Books

About the publication

It's the start of the summer holidays, and two young girls have gone missing from a small seaside town. 14 year old Janie often daydreams to escape the lonely reality of her dysfunctional, motherless family and her hostile peers - but when the girls disappear from her local beach, her fantasies become obsession. While tourists and television crews swarm the town, she begins a search of her own, unaware that it will lead her into a disturbing adult world where nothing is quite as it seems.

As the media hysteria continues, and tensions within the family increase, her search begins to raise other, deeper questions concerning the disappearance of her own mother eleven years ago. Precocious, unguided, and overwhelmed, Janie finally penetrates her family's silence to unearth a heartbreaking secret of loss and abuse that lies far closer to home.

Marking a compelling debut novel, this contemporary story is fired with suspense and emotion as Taylor's richly visual prose paints the trauma and longing of a gifted teenage girl who is desperate to make sense of her self and her life.


A dark, compelling novel, with some superficial similarities to Jill Dawson’s ‘Watch Me Disappear’… The language is seductive and draws the reader into Janie’s complicated world, which features a pregnant older teenage sister, an absent mother and a neurotic aunt. As Janie’s life collides with the public drama being played out over the hunt for two missing girls, the reader is forced to reconsider the line between childhood and adulthood.