Refuge book cover.

Brisbane schoolgirl, Nell McLennan, wants nothing more than to be noticed by her work-obsessed parents. When she is sent to the tiny township of Sippy Creek near Townsville to spend two weeks of the Christmas holidays with her estranged grandfather — so her parents can spend some ‘quality time’ together — her goal seems even further out of reach. A catastrophic last day of school has only compounds her misery. As she wanders the basement of the local school, searching for the personality-improving Drama course that her mother has enrolled her in, she discovers a sign that perfectly summarises her state of mind.
Feeling lost? Is there too much drama in your life, or not enough? Follow the stairs —>
Overwhelmed by abandonment and desperate to escape the mess of her life, Nell follows a compulsion and opens the door at the bottom of the stairs. In that instant her wish is granted and she finds herself in Refuge; a world created from the fractured mind of eighteenth century psychiatrist Dr Nathaniel Fray; a man led to ruin by the desire to find a cure for his brain damaged son.
In Refuge she meets dysfunctional children not only from different parts of the world, but different eras, all lured to this seeming safe haven by the Doctor who provides care and shelter for those in need, but at a terrible price. Nell is lost in a world that is both a utopia and prison. Everyone is telling her a different story and she has never had to rely on her own instincts before. Truly alone and out of her depth, she must decide who to trust among a host of dubious characters.
With only three days to choose her future before she is trapped in Refuge forever, Nell discovers her self-worth and learns that the easiest road is not always the best.

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