Newt has been working in Bearmouth mine from a very young age. There is a routine and acceptance to all that happens - that is, until Devlin arrives. Newt fears any unrest will bring heightened oppression from the Master and his overseers, and simply isn't prepared for any more hardship. Life is hard enough and there isn't any choice about that. Or is there? Soon Newt is looking at Bearmouth with a fresh perspective - one that does more than whisper about change: one that is looking for a way out.
Liz Hyder has written an astounding novel that shows a young person growing up, challenging life and refusing to accept that just because life always has been so, it should continue. This is a book that grips from the first page with its powerful voice and rich storytelling, and one that will stand out in the world of YA literature. This novel draws on Liz's careful research into the working conditions of children in Victorian mines, through which she creates an imagined world riven with social injustice and religious oppression and populated by characters who don't simply accept things because they are told they must.