Gracey is a young aboriginal girl who in the beginning of the book suppresses her true heritage. She feels like she fits in better with all the white girls in her new school then back in her old town Cunningham with her family and the rest of the Aborigines. .
Gracey returns home from her prestigious school that she is at, on a sports scholarship. Gracey is a very gifted athlete like her brother Raymond. Raymond is also back in Cunningham after getting kicked out of the Sydney rugby club. Raymond blames it on racial discrimination. However you see later on that even when playing for a local club in the end hes drinking ends up finishing hes football playing days. Gracey has a younger brother, Dougy who is a hoarder who keeps everything he finds. The person who keeps her whole family together is her mother who always takes care of them.
Gracey finds it very hard to come back into "black civilization" after she has tried so hard to fit in with her new "white life" at school. She had to change they way she did everything. She had to change the words she used how she acted and even her name. When she does come home she sees how backward her people are, wasting all there money and time getting drunk. "It's not my home. If I"ve got a home now, its Hamilton College, Brisbane, a thousand kilometers away from here." While Gracey is in Cunningham on holiday, there is an investigation on some bones Dougy finds. "Its bloody pathetic, the whole sorry story. Pathetic." Gracey finds the whole saga very embarrassing and is she can not wait to leave to go back to her school where she feels more at home then in Cunningham with her family. However the thought of the up coming school dance upsets her, as she knows she can"t afford a dress. .
Only after the death of her mother does Gracey even start to think about where she came from. At her mother's funeral Gracey is feeling very sorry for herself thinking about how she should have stayed in Cunningham with her family.