Below Deck

Below Deck

  • Hardback
By (author) 

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When 21-year-old Oli sets sail from Australia she embarks on a trip that will open her eyes to life's possibilities. Some years later, fluent in the language of the ocean, she is the only female crew member on-board a yacht delivery to New Zealand. There, in the darkness below deck, she learns something new: at sea, no one can hear you scream.

Below Deck is about the moments that haunt us, that fan out like ripples through the deep. It is a novel about the vagaries of consent, about who has the space to speak and who is believed.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 138 x 216mm
  • Allen & Unwin
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Main
  • 1911630520
  • 9781911630524
  • 35,949

Review quote

How do we tell the story of ourselves when language fails us? With glorious colour, Sophie Hardcastle answers in her gutsy and vivid debut, Below Deck. Her synesthetic heroine, Olivia, experiences the world in pigments: a beloved friend is "velvet lilac", the number three is "uneasy green". Years after a fateful sailing voyage, the memory of a red encounter - deepest red - smoulders away. As timely as it is evocative, Below Deck's polychromatic depiction of trauma and its aftermath speaks to how women learn to inhabit their bodies and the world, and how those dark lessons can be triumphantly unlearned. -- Beejay Silcox, Australian literary critic Below Deck will leave you breathless. Sophie Hardcastle is a phenomenal, courageous talent. -- Clementine Ford (author of FIGHT LIKE A GIRL) Hardcastle has captured the powerful words so many of us struggle to find, and I cannot imagine anyone could finish Below Deck unaffected. -- Bri Lee (bestselling author of EGGSHELL SKULL) Lyrical, profound, and deeply moving Sophie Hardcastle's Below Deck will confront as well as soothe, and is the most tender, hopeful battle-cry of a book. -- Brooke Davis (author of LOST & FOUND) The free-flowing intensity of the wind and waves that drives her characters' lives, also powers Sophie Hardcastle's memorable prose. Her writing sweeps us through hemispheres and across oceans with astonishing and immersive force. This is a deeply moving story of a young woman growing up, and Hardcastle is an extraordinary talent. -- Elleke Boehmer (University of Oxford) an astonishing achievement -- Sir Jonathan Bate
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About Sophie Hardcastle

Sophie Hardcastle is an Australian author, artist, screenwriter and scholar. In 2018, she was one of the first two Australians to be awarded a Provost's Scholarship in English literature at the University of Oxford, where she has since continued to work as a research assistant. She is the author of a memoir (Running Like China, 2010) and previous novel (Breathing Under Water, 2016) in Australia, with the release of Below Deck marking her introduction to UK readers.
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