By: Benny Lindelauf
Published by: Allen & Unwin
Published: February 2014
ISBN: 9781743315859


An intriguing novel with a classic feel, featuring three vividly alive young sisters, an eccentric family struggling against the odds, and the slowly revealed story of a house with a past.

At the end of the world, near the border with Germany, stands a house as long as nine open arms. Half hidden behind trees and shrubs rises a wide brick wall, topped with two attic windows, each no bigger than a dishcloth. The walls have been whitewashed and the wooden floor is bare, as if the house is waiting. Waiting for someone to move in.


This is one of those novels that is very hard to put down but very hard to describe.

Set mostly in 1937, but with a flashback to the 1860's, it has an intriguing storyline, wonderful characters and a sense of belonging and family that is rarely found in stories.

If you have a brother or sister you will relate to the sibling squabbles, laughter and loyalty which is in abundance throughout the book. This is all entwined with the story of the house which the family call 'Nine Open Arms'.

A fantastic book for Year 7 - 9's and, although the three main characters are girls, there are four brothers that balance the story out well.

A really memorable book.

This book was included in our February 2014 Secondary Standing Order selection.

Reviewed by Michelle