From Australia's bestselling author.
In the 1930s, two opportunities existed for boys of Balmain, a working-class Sydney suburb: to be selected into Fort Street Boys School or to excel as a sportsman. At just sixteen years Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brains, looks, sporting aptitude - and luck with the ladies. His parents run The Hero of Mafeking ('Maffos'), the favourite local watering hole, and the whole of Balmain is proud of Danny's sporting prowess. His mother, though, steers Danny towards a university education; but with just six months of his degree to go he signs up for the AIF, driven by a desire to serve his country and plain wanderlust.
Danny serves in south-east Asia, spends three and a half years as a POW, and returns a broken man, embittered and facially disfigured. He has told no one of his return, and as he sails towards the Balmain ferry terminal he knows his life in beloved Balmain will have nothing to do with the life he led before the war, and he is scared and overwhelmed by the need to sort himself out, find out who the hell he is...