Lisa's Reviews > Past the Shallows

Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
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's review
Jul 03, 2011

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bookshelves: australia, c21st
Read in January, 2012

Favel Parrett is one of a new generation of Australian writers, and she has made an impressive debut with her first novel, Past the Shallows. It is raw, tough and uncompromising, and hard to put down: I read it in a single sitting.

If you travel much around the Australian coastline, sooner or later you will find a fishing fleet. These days the boats are huge and even from the pier you can see that they have a great deal of sophisticated equipment: radar and sonar, tall radio masts, and all the stuff needed for crews to process the catch quickly and efficiently and keep it on ice till it’s brought back to shore for the market. But none of this fancy gear can alter the fact that the Aussie coastline is rugged and dangerous, that the weather is capricious and often hostile, and that commercial fishermen are under constant pressure to bring back a catch big enough to make a profit. Often they go out in weather that would make an experienced sailor hesitate. It’s a hard, tough life for these professional crews, and harder still for any small operator competing against them in a boat owned by the bank.

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