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True love is never lost—but how much loss can it endure? Iris confronts the complexities of family and prejudice in this exquisite and searing debut novel whose “understated, gently embellished prose cuts to the bone” (Booklist, starred review).
Just two months after her mother abandons her family, leaving her gruff, introverted father to raise two children alone, Iris watches a family of gypsies set up an illegal camp in the paddock by her house. The gypsy boy, Trick, is restless and warm and full of life—he’ll settle when he’s in his grave, he tells Iris—and she feels as though she understands him completely.
Yet even as Iris’s secret friendship with Trick blooms into something more, tensions run high between their families. Iris’s father is bent on evicting the travelers, and her beloved brother Sam is impulsive, lost, and headed for trouble. But Trick might not be everything he seems, and as Iris struggles to find where her loyalties lie, all of the prejudice, vulnerability, and anger that surrounds her collides in an unspeakable tragedy.
Like love, and like sorrow, the blue summer sky is infinite in this coming-of-age story that is both breathtaking and heartbreaking.