Banafsheh Serov's Reviews > Past the Shallows

Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

really liked it

At first glance, Parrett's writing appeared simplistic and better suited to YA. But as I settled into the rhythm and flow of the narrative, I discovered a deceptively simple, stripped back prose that carried a heavy punch that once delivered, left me breathless.

Set in the wild and beautiful south east coast of Tasmania, Past the Shallows is a story of family secrets and the intimate spaces of the human heart. It's the story of love, loss and the bond between brothers. Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman. Their older brother Joe moved out after the tragic death of their mother, leaving the two younger brothers to bear the brunt of their father's anger and self-loading. Things are made harder by the drop in abalone numbers due to over fishing. To make money, their father takes bigger risks, fishing illegally in the protected areas.

A marvelous achievement by the first-time novelist, Past the Shallows reminds me of my last year's favourite, The Book of Emmett by Deborah Forster. Masterful and heartbreakingly beautiful, the quiet prose seeps in the hearts and minds of readers and continue to resonate long after the last page is read. 4 stars
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