Seven children wander the streets in an urban odyssey over one day and night. But not all will find their way home. Katrina and Trisha are two street-smart girls, with sharp tongues and attitude. When they wag school and are caught shoplifting, the cops make sure they leave knowing they ve got nothing, that they re worth nothing. Having recently fled his mother s cloying love, Roo is now living on the street. But when he finds himself shooting a porn film he realises he s not so tough and just wants to go home. Unfairly accused of stealing his mother s money, Daniel decides he may as well stage a real theft. But the outcome of his actions is not the one he expects. Brother and sister, Orton and Stacey, must flee the mother they love in order to survive. And James is the most lost of all; a young Aboriginal man with no place in the white or black world.
As each child moves deeper into peril, a mother s scream pierces the night and we know that a life has been lost. Dawn breaks, and it s the same day but now we experience the journey from the viewpoint of the five mothers. Over-wrought Tanya wrongly accuses her son of theft. Deeply religious Gina has a premonition that her missing son is dead. With little to look forward to, but much to reflect upon, Laurel must acknowledge that she kept a child from his rightful mother. Lonely Bianca loses her winning streak but finds comfort from a stranger. And Rhonda, tough yet achingly vulnerable, lets the children she loves go because she believes they are safer without her. Over the course of their respective journeys we understand that they are as lost and defenceless as the children they care for. And by night s end, one of them must face her worst nightmare.