Past the Shallows



Title: Past the Shallows

Author: Favel Parrett

Hachette Australia, 2011




Everyone loves Harry. Everyone except his father. Three brothers, Joe, Miles and Harry, are growing up with their father 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, warped by a devastating secret. Miles tries 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 big mug of Milo, and a secret friendship with a mysterious neighbour. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother’s love, are not enough.



Gosh, I read this twice – partly because I was gobsmacked, and partly because sometimes I struggle with ebooks, and I think I will absolutely be reading it again. It was definitely a quick and easy read, but there’s just… so much there. It’s such a simple story, about Harry, his family, his friends and his life, but there’s such… struggle… there.

It’s a sad life, and there is a lot below the surface that isn’t spoken about – with Harry’s dad, with Joe. The town knows, and many people try to look out for Harry. He befriends his neighbour, his brother Miles tries to look out for him, his friend and his friends mum look after him, but is it enough?  I don’t want to say too much about this book – it’s really quite a simple plot with many facets and depths explored.

This is Parrett’s first novel, and it’s a kicker. The writing is simple and beautiful, though the subject matter ends up being quite deep and heavy.

Conversation about this one was minimal – only myself and another read it. This has been kind of the theme lately. Might need to advertise for new members!! However it’s always good to catch up with friends and have a gossip session, and I always read the book. It’s good as it means I read stuff I wouldn’t pick up normally, although it was me that nominated this one. Regarding Past the Shallows, we both really enjoyed it though, and found it somewhat deceptively easy to read. It will stay with me for quite a while though.

How about you? Have you read Past the Shallows? Do you like debut novels?


One thought on “Past the Shallows

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry | my novel addiction

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