Past the Shallows – Favel Parrett

past the shallowsHarry accepts the world as it is. He’s too young to remember much of what it was like before Mum died. Miles remembers and Miles tries to look after Harry. Joe is the oldest. Joe is old enough to leave, and Joe is planning to do just that. He’s built a boat and will soon sail away. The younger boys struggle to live with their cruel and unpredictable father who tries to make a living diving for abalone off the remote southern coast of Tasmania.

While the story of the brothers trying to cope with their brutal father and the loss of their mother is tragic, the writing is beautiful. There are no excess words, no long conversations or flowing descriptions, just perfectly chosen words that convey everything. The narrative is told from the point of view of the two younger boys. The voices feel authentic. They are children’s voices, not adult voices trying to sound like children. And it’s not all sad. There are beautiful moments when Miles is lost in the joy of surfing the perfect wave and little Harry feels the bliss of a loving puppy. I loved this book, read it quickly and wanted more. Highly recommend.

eGalley review Publication date 4.22.14

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