Magical storytelling, beautiful writing, brutal truth and extraordinary characterisation make this a stunning debut novel from a new American writer. In this book: Shayla lives with her mother and her teenage sister. Tia, in a poor, rough area of Houston. While Tia, to her mother's distress, has taken up with a local boy who is none-too-bright. Shayla becomes friends with Kambia Eliane, the strange girl who has moved in next door. Kambia's prostitute mother rarely, lets her out of the house and when she does. Kambia makes up crazy stories, including one about being attacked by the wallpaper wolves that come out of the bedroom walls and maul her at night. As the relationship between Tia and her mother deteriorates, the friendship between Shayla and Kambia grows. Shayla begins to realise that Kambia's tales are not make believe, they are stories that describe the horrors that she faces in her mother's house. Torn between misguided loyalty and harrowing truth. Shayla is forced to make an awful choice. In doing so, she surrenders her childhood innocence, an innocence that Kambia Elaine has never been allowed to have.