On the Darkside you'll find
A teenage violin prodigy searching for the meaning of life
A disaffected muse with a pressing problem
A successful poet battling sobriety
An artist looking for a legal medium
Modern prophets, late-night philosophers,
A guardian angel, a ghost or three,
And the crumbling urban castle they call home...
Phoebe is an unlikely violin prodigy. At sixteen, she’s mastered the most difficult music, but she has never had a formal lesson. Her musical education, like much of what she knows about life, has come to her piecemeal via her eclectic ‘family’ of squatters, who live in the attic of an abandoned Victorian apartment building. Her brothers range from the kind-hearted father-figure Ollie, to the deeply troubled Liam, punk-rock philosopher Max, and her quiet, mural-painting soul-mate, Ezra. On the surface their lives are happy and carefree, but all of them bear scars from the past, the most recent of which was inflicted by Callie, who once shared their home, and who left two years earlier without warning or explanation.
In fact, Callie is nearer than any of them realize. She’s still living in their city, secretly keeping watch over them, especially Phoebe, with whom she had the strongest bond. But Callie has scars and secrets of her own, which she believes make her unfit to be with her adopted family – or anyone else. Instead she is living a nameless, in-between existence, working at a solitary job where no one can ever really know her, and unable to commit to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But she is about to face a harsh wake-up call – one which will make it impossible to continue with her detached existence, and will force her to confront the family she abandoned.
Around the same time, the squatters’ building is condemned, scheduled to be demolished in a year’s time. Faced with the imminent end of her childhood, but with no idea of what should come next, Phoebe embarks on a quest for the meaning of life – and for Callie, whom she believes can answer the questions that no one else can. Her search will lead her to re-examine her past and present, from the lost family that haunt her to the one that saved her, from her fear of what her musical gift will demand of her, to the joy and meaning it gives her life. It will lead her to a new understanding of love, and ultimately give her the strength to take her first step into the adult world.