Over one weekend in a small Tasmanian town, a transsexual mortician prepares three bodies for burial at a funeral home. As she carefully works on the Kremmer son, the Esterhazen girl and Mr Phillips, she reflects on her own unusual life and childhood, her father's obsession with taxidermy and other darker pursuits, her own induction into the arts of taxidermy, the death of her parents and her ultimate transformation from man to woman. Her sex change was a tentative step towards finding somebody to love her, and choosing a man came next. But when her plans to be with her chosen one are interrupted, she discovers just how far she will go to keep the hope of love alive. In a corrupt world where appearance is everything, what makes us open our hearts to others?
Steve Holden is the author of The Bird in the Egg and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards - Steele Rudd Award.