Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett

Be warned, when you come into the shop, I am going to want to sell you Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett.  I absolutely LOVE this book.  It is an extremely accomplished first novel by a young women who divides her time between Melbourne and Torquay.  She lived for a time in Tasmania where this book is set, on the wild, lonely, coast.  It is about three brothers, the eldest of whom has left home.  That leaves Harry and Miles at home with their angry fisherman father, their mother having died some time before.  Harry is a delightful character, whose view of the world is both innocent and occasionally knowing.  He is sensitive and afraid of the water, a handicap for an abalone fisherman’s son.  There is a melancholy tone to the story, and the writing is beautiful. It is sad, but wonderful, and the book will stay with you for some time. I can’t remember being so engrossed from the first page of a book for a long time.  If you liked Jasper Jones, Danielle Wood’s The Alphabet of Light and Dark (an oldie but a goodie) or Tim Winton’s writing, you should read this.  But even if you don’t, please, still read it. If this books isn’t short listed for every prize going in the next twelve months, I shall eat my bookselling hat. $27.

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