Past the Shallows

Past the Shallows

Book rating: 05 Paperback John Murray

By (author) Favel Parrett

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  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 197mm x 16mm | 180g
  • Publication date: 30 August 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848547501
  • ISBN 13: 9781848547506
  • Sales rank: 3,855

Product description

Shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award, PAST THE SHALLOWS is a powerful and hauntingly beautiful novel from an extraordinary new Australian writer who is compared with Cormac McCarthy and Tim Winton. 'If you read only one book this year, make sure it's this' Sunday Times 'I loved Past the Shallows' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds Everyone loves Harry. Except his father. Joe, Miles and Harry are growing up on the remote south coast of Tasmania. The brothers' lives are shaped by their father's moods - like the ocean he fishes, he is wild and unpredictable. He is a bitter man, with a devastating secret. Miles does his best to watch out for Harry, the youngest, but he can't be there all the time. Often alone, Harry finds joy in the small treasures he discovers, in shark eggs and cuttlefish bones. In a kelpie pup, a mug of hot chocolate, and a secret friendship with a mysterious neighbour. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother's love are not enough.

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Author information

Past the Shallows is Favel Parrett's first published novel. It was shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award and won the Australian Book Industry's Newcomer of the Year AwardPrize. Favel was the recipient of an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship in 2009 and has had a number of short stories published in various journals. She balances her writing around surfing, travelling and volunteering at an animal shelter. She lives in Victoria, Australia, with her partner and two dogs.

Customer reviews

By Jen Macklin 07 Nov 2013 5

I seriously loved this book. So beautifully descriptive especially of the ocean and the natural environment of southern Tasmania. Bleak and completely devastating story but I loved every page. Look forward to more from this writer.

By mona abed algani 26 Aug 2013 5

A sad story of family ties in the verse of tragedy, children forced to fend for themselves mature too soon in order to cope with the harsh reality.

Simple but touching a lovely read, ended too soon. Highly recommended

Review quote

'Beautiful, stripped-back prose ... there is magic here. Like Cormac McCarthy, Parrett packs a huge emotional punch thanks to the elegant brevity of her style. Stark, but unforgettable' -- Marie Claire 'An assured debut ... In powerful, visceral prose Parrett conjures the thrill of changing waves ... elsewhere, her prose is gentle and measured' -- Daily Mail 'Parrett's starkly precise evocation of Tasmania's winter landscape [is] compelling. The book's tragic outcome leaves the reader feeling genuinely bereft' -- Guardian 'This well-crafted novel will leave a lasting impression' -- Lady 'Favel Parrett's lean prose evokes the cruel beauty of the sea, the treasure of lost childhood freedoms, and the yearning emotions that linger beyond the last page ... an accomplished debut addressing the frailty and determination of human existence; it's a joy to read such spare prose giving so much' -- BookOxygen 'Beguiling ... The beautiful descriptions of the untamed coast and the vivid evocation of landscape and characters make this an unputdownable read. A rather haunting and sad tale but told with such beauty it becomes totally absorbing. Past the Shallows ... will take your breath away' -- welovethisbook.com 'Past the Shallows manages to capture the devastation and pain of growing up with a parent who does nothing to hide his bitterness from his children. One of the strengths of this novel is that it shows you devastation of such a large family drama without reverting to the overtly dramatic. Rather, the writing is quiet and pondering, and the story unfolds in beautifully crafted episodes, allowing you glimpses of the larger stories and problems surrounding family life' -- irisonbooks.com 'Not only are we left stunned, we are in the presence of a clever piece of work. Despite Favel Parrett's simple style, she treats readers as intelligent beings' -- thebookbag.co.uk 'An utterly brilliant book about the relationship of two brothers under the thumb of their tyrannical father, set in the remote south coast of Tasmania. It is a cliche to call a book haunting but this one is' -- Simon Savidge, welovethisbook 'A gripping read ... Favel Parrett's understated approach to the difficulties of the brothers' lives is impressive and moving ... A truly impressive debut ... Parrett's writing is powerful and unflinching' -- bookandbiscuit.com 'An impressive debut' -- Sunday Business Post 'An intensely moving story, written in finely crafted and gripping prose. Utterly brilliant' -- Image Magazine 'If you read only one book this year make sure it's this' -- Sunday Times 'A work by a new master ... Parrett's debut is an uncompromising and memorable tale' -- Sunday Tasmanian 'Parrett's debut marks the addition of a strong voice to the chorus of Australian literature' -- Canberra Times 'A finely crafted literary novel ... genuinely moving and full of heart' -- Age 'Clearly the work of a talented new novelist' -- Weekend Australian 'A fresh and vital voice in Australian fiction' -- Australian Women's Weekly