'What would Germaine do?'
This is the mantra that Skip and Marlo Wells turn to as they navigate their way through the twists and turns that life brings. Such as the sectioning of their mother Karen Jane. Marlo puts her faith in her hero, Germaine Greer, and twelve-year-old Skip trusts her clever big sister to know the right thing to do. But when the sisters are forced to move to their Auntie Noreen and Uncle Doug's home in the backwater city of Crater Lakes even Marlo can't think of a solution. At age sixteen, Marlo is forced to quit school and work in the family hardware store. Skip manages to get on her auntie's bad side from the get-go and is an outcast at school as she vehemently declares the injustice of the Vietnam War — not what Noreen wants to hear with her precious son Barry off fighting.
Skip and Marlo dream of escape from Crater Lakes but with Karen Jane's release nowhere on the horizon they resign themselves to their new life. Before long they make the acquaintance of the Novak brothers — Skip's classmate Honza and his eternally cheerful older brother Pavel. Marlo becomes entangled with the local drama teacher, leaving Skip to explore the town's haunts with Honza. Skip learns about the mysterious Dansie residence, a secluded house that once belonged to Roger Dansie — an actor and the closest thing to a local hero that Crater Lakes ever had. As the days roll on the Wells sisters are drawn ever deeper in to the lives of their new acquaintances, learning that their first impressions of Crater Lakes may not be as accurate as they believed. Against the backdrop of a broken home, the fight for equality and a far off war Volcano Street is a heartfelt tale of acceptance and belonging, and learning what family truly means.