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To The Sea

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  56 reviews
On a clear summer's day, Detective Inspector Tony Vincent answers a call-out to an idyllic Tasmanian beach house. Surrounded by family and calm waters, seventeen-year-old Zoe Kennett has inexplicably vanished.

Four storytellers share their version of what has led to this moment, weaving tales which span centuries and continents. But Tony needs facts, not fiction: how will s
ebook, 464 pages
Published December 22nd 2016 by Macmillan Australia
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Dom Yuen My take on this is that Zoe was a true siren (or whatever her people are called), and lured him into the sea to start a new chapter.
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  230 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearanc
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting debut novel - a mystery of a missing teenager with other worldly elements woven into it. Zoe, the 17 year old daughter has disappeared from her family beach house on the coast of Tasmania. Her large family of much older siblings and their families think she went snorkelling but no one saw her do this and no one can describe what she was wearing or remember when they last saw her. In fact DI Tony Vincent finds it difficult to find anyone who really knew her. Her mother, Eva ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘On this planet, there are two worlds. The world of the land and the world of the sea.’

Detective Inspector Tony Vincent is called to a beach house in an idyllic location in the south of Tasmania. It’s summer, and seventeen-year-old Zöe Kennett has vanished. She went snorkelling, family members tell DI Vincent and his team, and she’s disappeared. A search is initiated: perhaps Zöe is alive, somewhere. Family members tell the police she’s a very strong swimmer.

The more questions DI Vincent asks,
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars
Detective Inspector Tony Vincent answers a call concerning a missing seventeen year old girl. No-one in her family seems to have seen Zoe Kennett since the night before, when it was believed she was going snorkelling after dinner. So begins an investigation that leaves Tony puzzling his head, especially at the composure and acceptance of certain members of the family who don’t seem particularly worried. Others are convinced Zoe has drowned despite her being a strong swimmer
This book was a bit hard to classify as it wasn't really a crime although it did include police procedures. I am also not sure about the ending but a great debut novel. ...more
Dale Harcombe
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
three and a half stars
Detective Inspector Tony Vincent answers a call concerning a missing seventeen year old girl. No-one in her family seems to have seen Zoe Kennett since the night before, when it was believed she was going snorkelling after dinner. So begins an investigation that leaves Tony puzzling his head, especially at the composure and acceptance of certain members of the family who don’t seem particularly worried. Others are convinced Zoe has drowned despite her being a strong swimmer
Seventeen-year-old Zoe Kennett disappeared of the Tasmanian coast. Although presumed drowned by most of her family, her mother, Eva, believes Zoe is still alive and will return from the sea. Detective Inspector Tony Vincent arrives at this isolated by idyllic place to lead a search, but finds himself believing there's more to this disappearance than a crime or drowning. That old superstitions and myths may be more real than the story of a tragic drowning…

I wanted to like this so much more than I
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gcaw-2014-2017
The cover of this book is what drew me to it in the first place. I know the saying goes "Don't judge a book by its cover" but why not? It shows thought, imagination, creativity - it literally SHOWS you the book. So then why doesn't the saying "A picture paints a thousand words" applied to a book cover? I mean it is art after all and this book is, in so many words, a piece of art.

The first few pages lays the story out beautifully. Some might say, it was a bit confusing trying to find the link bet
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This debut novel by Tasmanian author Christine Dibley unfolds at a mixed pace and through a number of different voices.

From the backcover blurb I’d envisaged Zoe’s family offering up various versions of her disappearance which isn’t the case. Everyone is upset, but surprisingly accepting of what’s happened… regretful, but ready to move on. Zoe’s (significantly older siblings) and father expect the worst, but her mother – Eva – believes Zoe to be safe and seems to take solace in the fact she may
Hayley Dane
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most incredible novels I've read in years. Captivating and mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down. Also for the record, I think Zoe's alive. ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be an odd mix which didn't always work for me.

The sections relating to the police investigation were strong. Tony was an interesting character and his interactions with his team were my favourite parts of the book. However, the more mystical aspects of the book didn't appeal to me as much, and didn't seem to gel with the sections written from Tony's perspective.

In general, I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary detail, and it was hard to keep track of the large number
I really liked this initially, then felt the story lost momentum quite early on, but then picked up again about halfway through.

Despite the fact that there was an element of magical realism, I felt that the story was quite believable within its boundaries.

I loved the Tasmanian and, to a lesser degree, Irish settings. The cover is lovely - how I'd love to live in a house with a view like that!!

It was a little hard to keep track of all the characters - a family tree would have been very helpful t
Bree T
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in a long time. I’ve never been to Tasmania but it’s long been on my list of places I want to visit. Given it’s proximity to me in here in Victoria it’s also probably the most likely place on that list that I will actually visit one day. I read few books set here but it has so much potential and that potential has been well tapped here.

On a summer day young DI Tony Vincent gets a call to investigate the disappearance of a teenager, belie
Deborah Ideiosepius
This delightful novel set in Tasmania was a beautifully written innovative story:

In the summer just before New Year, Detective Inspector Tony Vincent gets a call to a beautiful old beach house where, surrounded by her well to do family, one evening nineteen year old Zoe has gone snorkeling and drowned.

But did she? There is no body, no one saw her go in, she told no one she was going… Why are almost all her family so sure she drowned and why is her fragile, detached mother Eva so sure she didn’t?
Jessica Bowden
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tasmanians and those who have visited Tasmania
Well written and utterly unique novel. Full review coming soon!
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read in the last year. A mesmerising tale. Amazing first novel. ...more
Arabelle Magdalena
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting story, which allowed my childlike imagination to run wild. I thought the imagery was spectacular, the characters were earthy and warm, the tales of loss and love were beautiful... oh and the magic- I got completely swept up in it all.

A must read for any daughter, mother, or believer.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-not-on-shelf
A gorgeous contemporary novel set in Tasmania, To the Sea was the perfect holiday read for me. Told in multiple points of view over the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, it conveys a beautiful story spanning generations.
We meet the Kennett family on the day they discover that Zoe -- beautiful, daring, and fearless Zoe -- is missing, most likely drowned within sight of their ancestral coastal home. Though we meet them first without him, it's detective Inspector Anthony Vincent who brings
Anika Claire
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review posted on Tea in the Treetops in January 2017:

Set on the beautiful and wild Tasmanian coastline, To The Sea is the magical story of a missing teenager. Zoe Kennett disappears from her family’s home next to calm waters, and it’s DI Tony Vincent’s job to organise the search for her body. A young girl couldn’t possibly have survived in the cold southern waters overnight and most of the next day, could she?

But there is a lot more to Zoe’s story, and as the days go by and no body is recovered
When a Tasmanian teenager goes missing at her family's beach house detective Tony Vincent is determined to find out what happened to her. As he investigates her disappearance, he discovers Zoe Kennett is not like most teenage girls and her family is stranger than most. With Zoe's mother insistent her daughter is still alive because of the stories her ancestors have passed down, Tony has to separate fact from fiction to find out what has happened to Zoe.

To the Sea is a book which stands out for m
Bronwyn Mcloughlin
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Curious work, well written with interesting characterisations, and a sometimes disconcerting juxtaposition of mythological expository passages, stories of family heritage with police procedural. There are strong matrilineal links, supernatural really, between the generations. All of which comes to light as the back story to the disappearance of Zoe, the youngest of five siblings, during Christmas holidays at the ancestral home in Tasmania. The mystery is never really solved, and I could live wit ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I think is best classified as 'Mystery'. The characters were believable and interesting, the setting superb and the history and stories interwoven throughout were delightful.
I had no problem distinguishing between the different characters after the first few chapters, but I did find myself flicking back to the page explaining how they were connected a few times early on.
As with other reviewers, I also felt disappointed in the lack of resolution in the end.
Belinda Robinson
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A stunning debut from this very talented Aussie author. The summary blurb provides a synopsis of the story. But it is also all about the atmospherics. Stories within stories bound together with ribbons of magic realism. Great tales of love, loss, family and impossible choices. As moody and wild as the Tasmanian and Irish settings. Full of humanity in exposing the lengths we go to, and the price we pay, for love. Would have been five stars if the ending had been more satisfying but the rest was s ...more
Toni Kely-Brown
A debut Australian author who’s written a story about a teenage girl gone missing, presumed drowned in Tasmania. But there are some strange elements - such as Zoe missing for 24 hours before her disappearance is reported by her family (with siblings being much, much older than her) and the fact witnesses describe her swimming in seemingly impossible places out in the sea and being able to dive from impossible heights. The story is told from multiple points of view and changes from a mystery/crim ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I mostly loved this book. I liked that it was set in Tasmania, I enjoyed the interweaving of mythology with present-day life and thought it worked. I even coped with the plethora of characters. There were possibly too many - I didn't have trouble keeping track of them, but there didn't seem much point in introducing so many characters to the story, when most of them had no part to play, other than being part of the background. There were some side stories that would be good to see developed, may ...more
Kelly Callaghan
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was in parts frustrating and gripping. On a clear calm Summer day Detective Tony Vincent and his team travel to 'Rosetta' a huge house in southern Tasmania, in response to a missing persons call. Zoe hasn't been seen for more than 24 hours and some members of her family are concerned. Her mother is not. The family believe she went snorkelling. During the five days Tony and his team search for her evidence seams to appear that no body, including her much older siblings, knows Zoe at all ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this first book by Australian author Christine Dibley. Set in Tasmania, it brings together a modern missing person story with celtic stories passed down through the maternal life. Very much about mothers and daughters, ancestry and influence, in the context of the search for Zoe who is missing, it also weaves together multiple points of view to tell a rich narrative of family and how well we really know each other and our histories. A great debut read and look forward to reading more fro ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cel Jel
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this as a crime fiction, and it is in one sense Crime. However it is also mythological, and it is a family relations story and family saga. I did find it an interesting read, the point view changed, from chapters. A 17 year old girl disappears at sea, and the family takes 24 hours to report her missing. this has happened over the Christmas New Year period.
The ending really really annoyed me.
If you want a gentle read, this is a good read, but I will not be rereading this book.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Read for book club. It wasn't terrible, but it overused dialogue for exposition, and there are far too many characters and a lot of superfluous scenes and information. The kernel of the idea is good (not my usual taste but I understand the appeal); however the execution is not quite 'there'. The author writes well overall, but it needed a lot more crafting and editing. Very easy to read. ...more
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