Jimmy Sullivan is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in the town of Raggleton, an everyday small town community in 1950s New Zealand. Jimmy is not like other boys his age. The home that he lives in is filled with constant arguing and bitterness between his parents. He tries to ignore these events by using special protection tricks to isolate himself from his own situation. On Tuesday afternoon he breaks down and turns violent - abusing the elderly, smashing windows and throwing rocks at Bloody Jack. Eventually his home environment changes when his mother kills his father. He is sent to a Roman Catholic boarding school and leads a very uncertain life.