“Across nearly two thousand miles of flat, sandy desert country runs a railway line, linking east and west Australia. Scattered along it are small groups of houses. Here the fettlers live, isolated from towns and other people, maintaining the line in the blazing heat.
At night, out of the blackness the min-min appears, an elusive and mystic light dancing on the horizon, beckoning and retreating. Aborigines tell of the wonder and excitement this small swaying light arouses. To Sylvie, a young girl living with her family at the siding, the gleam in the dark is symbolic of her life and future.
Her brother Reg, a “young rough”, is frightened to stay at the siding after some of the mischief he causes. So he and Sylvie set off across the endless desert, carrying insufficient water and some bread and jam, walking under the scorching sun, in dust and wind, and facing icy nights.”