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When sixteen-year-old Yin Mitchell is abducted, the news reverberates through the whole Year Ten class at Balmoral Ladies College. As the hours tick by, the girls know the chance of Yin being found alive is becoming smaller and smaller.
Everyone is affected by Yin’s disappearance—even scholarship student Chloe, who usually stays out of Balmoral dramas, is drawn into the maelstrom. And when she begins to form an uneasy alliance with Natalia, the queen of Year Ten, things get even more complicated.
A tribute to friendship in all its guises, The Gaps is a moving examination of vulnerability and strength, safety and danger, and the particular uncertainties young women face in the world.
‘Haunting and beautiful. At first it has the page-turning addictiveness of a thriller and then it evolves into a captivating exploration of grief, guilt and resilience in the face of fear and uncertainty. Hall’s characters are meticulously drawn, brave, fierce and vulnerable. A stunning achievement from an Australian treasure.’
‘A powerful, compelling read about the fragility, resilience and fierceness of girlhood. Unputdownable.’
‘A creeping psychological thriller about loss and fear and guilt and the fractured relationships that are left behind. Brilliant.’
‘Hall’s writing is breathtakingly good. The Gaps is a lightning bolt of a novel about power, privilege, race, art and identity.’
‘[The Gaps] is simultaneously harrowing and enchanting… Hall’s thoughtful novel explores friendship, victimhood and art. Readers who enjoyed the private school machinations of Alice Pung’s Laurinda but are prepared for the tension of Sarah Epstein’s Deep Water will be drawn into this novel, and will find it hard to escape its pull.’
‘Leanne Hall is without a doubt one of Australia’s best young-adult writers. Hall’s work is full of the fear and risk of adolescence, but also the strength and friendships that define it.’
‘This a cleanly constructed novel examining female friendship forged in a grim atmosphere, and it benefits immensely from realistic teen dialogue and well-distinguished voice creation.’
‘This novel perfectly portrays the uncertainties and vulnerabilities young women face daily.’
‘Stunning…I’m really excited to discover a new Australian writer who’s doing something special…Highly recommended, definitely check it out.’
‘The Gaps may well be the best Australian YA of 2021.’
‘Rather than traversing the detective novel path, The Gaps explores the emotions of ‘those who were left behind’ after a student is abducted. The experience and the characters will will keep you hooked until the last page.’
‘Hall brilliantly examines the melange of confused messages sent to teenage girls…[proving] she can do gritty realism as well as quirky and magical. There isn’t a neat ending to The Gaps, for a pat resolution would go against the grain of the book. It eschews a forensic crime investigation for a psychological portrait of bereavement and a community at loss – and these are not ever easily resolved.’