'When the Ground Is Hard' is the book we need now, as, around the world, we awaken to race matters with heart. It explores the marginalisation of people of 'mixed race' and the complexities of race, gender and class with an unparalleled poetic prowess.
Championing matriarchal strength, this engrossing narrative welcomes the reader into the isolated world of a Swaziland boarding school, where two girls from different realms battle bullies, teachers, fires and racism, while creating a sanctuary over a shared copy of 'Jane Eyre'.
Nunn's profound ability to shape compelling characters and relationships allows the reader to witness the truest meaning of friendship and family and her intricately woven ancestral stories and proverbs made this the sort of book that lives on in the reader's thoughts after it is finished. 'When the Ground is Hard' is a poignant coming-of-age novel and an important addition to Australian young adult literature.