The small rural Queensland town of Lawson is still reeling from the arrival of the 1990s and modernity. Surfie teacher Lawrence Lalor is condemned there to servitude by the Catholic Education League. From his veranda and the pub, he is quick to learn that while Lawson is just another ‘dead-kangaroo-on-the-side-of-the-road’ country town, with its streets named after saints, beneath its simple surface it is a town of depth and deception.
Drunken mistakes, accidental friendships and the arcane practice dignity are more rare than precious. Lawrence’s journey through Lawson – the supposed ‘jewel of the west’ – gouges a scar on his emotional landscape that will stay with him forever.