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The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  78 reviews
1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn ...more
Paperback, 405 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Hachette Australia
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It was 1932 when Ernie and Lily Hass and their ten-year-old daughter Girlie packed the last of their meagre belongings onto the cart behind Brownie and slowly headed away from their home in Perenjori, making their way into their new life in Dongarra. The wheat farm that had failed because of the Depression, the lack of support from the Government and a fire was what they were turning their backs on. Ernie was sure he could make their future better with the guesthouse they would open beside the b ...more
Theresa Smith
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2018
Kali Napier may be a debut author but she is certainly no novice. The Secret’s at Ocean’s Edge is an incredible novel, a story layered with all of the hallmarks that make for an Australian classic.

Set in Australia during 1932, in an area of Western Australia where everyone knows everyone else’s business – and if they don’t, you can bet they’ll find out – the nation is in the grips of the Depression with its population still feeling the immediate effects of the Great War. Shame and pride stitch
Dale Harcombe
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
During the early Depression years, Ernie and Lily Haas and their daughter Girlie have left their abandoned wheat farm to make a new start in Dongarra on the west coast of Australia. Ernie’s plan is to leave behind all the gossip and speculation about events of the past and build a new life starting with a summer guesthouse. Lily is ill prepared for the condition she finds once they move. But she tries to adapt and attempts to relate to the locals. But that is not as easy as it seems. Meanwhile G ...more
Like so many other farmers in the Depression of the 1930s, Ernie and Lily Hass have to walk off their drought-affected wheat farm north of Perth. Together with their daughter, nicknamed Girlie, they decide to start again on the coast and open a guesthouse for holidaymakers. Unfortunately Ernie has no head for business and is also a bit of a philanderer. Life is a struggle without much money but Lily is determined to fit in and make friends. However, just as they are starting to make their way in ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is about how a family coped after losing everything during the depression. Ernie Hass due to wrong financial discussions during the depression uplift his wife Lilly and his daughter Girlie to Dongarra to start a new life. However, this did not happen the families problems followed them to Dongarra. The readers of The Secrets at Ocean's Edge will follow the twist and turns in the lives of Ernie, Lilly and Girlie Hass to see what happens to them.

The Secrets at Ocean's E
Veronica ⭐️
Set in Western Australia in the early 1930’s, Kali Napier has highlighted the difficulty farmer’s had during times of drought and trying to start over in a new town. This was an era when position in society meant everything and being accepted into a new community was all about befriending the right people and being on the right committees.

Ernie and Lily Hass, together with their daughter Girlie, leave their failed wheat farm to start a new life in the sea
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
‘She’d thought she’d known all of Jenny’s secrets. But not the secret of Jimbo. How could adults keep secrets this big?’

Secrets, this book is brimming with them. The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge by Kali Napier is a 2018 debut publication by Hachette Books Australia. This novel represents a stunning ode to the Great Depression, with a distinct Australian focus, and a deep introspection into coastal life. Taking us deep into the lives of four pivotal characters, Th
Cass Moriarty
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge (Hachette Australia Books 2018), Kali Napier’s debut novel, to be released in January, 2018, is an engaging mystery that provides all the interesting facts of historical research while also being an absorbing tale of family secrets, lies, betrayal and sacrifice.
One of the characters, Ernie, is based on Kali’s great-grandfather, and the story – which is set in Western Australia during the Great Depression – brims with the authenticity and believability that comes from
Deborah Ideiosepius

You know those little quizzes that ask you to describe yourself (or someone else) in one word? Well,if I were to describe this book in one word, that word would be 'uneasy'.

I really, really, wanted to love this book. I bought it, I was excited by it, I listened to an author talk, which I loved, about the writing of it... There is so much about The Secrets at Ocean's Edge that I was excited by; the setting, the history, the research that went into it. I loved the author talk and really lik
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘People were different in different places.’

In 1932, Australia is in the grip of the Great Depression. Ernie and Lily Hass and their daughter Girlie have lost almost everything. They pack their remaining belongings onto a cart behind their horse Brownie and abandon their failing wheat farm in Perenjori for the West Australian coast at Dongarra. Ernie has a plan for a new start: a summer guest house by the coast. The Hasses quickly find that it isn’t easy to make a new start: Ernie’s plans upset
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is set in 1932 when, after a series of financial misfortunes, Ernie and Lily Hass and their daughter Girlie escape their farm and the tiny West Australian town of Perenjori for a new start running a guest house in coastal Dongarra.
But starting again isn't easy, and Lily's attempts to climb the social ladder are thwarted by Ernie's ineptitude in business.
Holding them back, too, are their secrets, which they try to keep hidden not only from the townsfolk of Dongarra, but from each othe
Jenn J McLeod
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am deferring to Cass Moriaty! Her review says it all about this stunning debut novel. But I will say this...

It’s rare to have an author so eloquently and veraciously transport me to another time and place. Historically significant and eloquently told, this novel is a tour de force that will find its place among Australia’s best.
Lee at ReadWriteWish
This is a debut novel? Wow. I will only assume that Kali Napier has had extensive experience in some other area of writing because The Secrets of Ocean’s Edge is an impressive piece of Australian literature.

Set in 1932, WW1 is still affecting many of its characters either physically, mentally or financially.
With the country in the grips of a depression, Ernie Hass and his family have been forced off their wheat farm in the Western Australian region of Perenjori. Ernie’s big idea is to settle in
Kate Forsyth
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set during the Great Depression, The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge tells the story of Lily Hass and her daughter Girlie who have just moved to the small West Australian town of Dongarra, where Lily’s husband Ernie hopes to kick-start a new business running a guest house. Both Lily and Girlie struggle to make new friends and adapt to their new home. Secrets from the past shadow their lives, and things are complicated by the arrival of Lily’s brother, Tommy, who struggles to deal with shellshock from hi ...more
Kali Napier
Apr 13, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for effort.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel in love with this book even before I carried it out of the store. The cover was gorgeous, the blurb interesting, and the first few paragraphs were promising.

Very well written and researched, the book didn’t disappoint. A complex web of secrets is woven through the entire novel, linking characters, settings and events in such a way that had me caught hook, line and sinker, right until the end.

Set in 1932, in the isolated costal town of Dongarra (Dongara) in Western Australia, Ernie and Lil
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read and certainly agree with Melissa Ashley's comments about the characterisation being superb - this was one of the novel's strengths. I thought it conveyed the upheaval and the worrying days of post depression Australia very well, the uncertainty and the optimism of farmers who faced and still face many challenges due to weather events and the rise and fall of commodities. Napier's own family story was pivotal in creating the storyline and she created an intriguing and fragile ca ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant and moving story! The setting is in West Australia in 1932 and so the story begins....

Throughout we witnessed a very troubled family, all carrying so many secrets, which when revealed had very horrible consequences. I think all they wanted to do was be accepted for who they were. They also wanted to belong, each in their own way but they had trouble doing so.
I highly recommend this very memorable piece of Australian historical fiction.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic!!! There are not many books that I read in a few weeks but this was one of them. Next one?
Sharah McConville
The Secrets at Ocean's Edge follows the hardships and heartaches of the Hass family during the Depression. Set in a small country town in Western Australia this story contains events which are both tragic and haunting. I really enjoyed Kali Napier's debut novel. Thanks to Books With Heart for my ARC. ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I expect this novel will be a strong contender for a few literary awards. Full review coming soon.
Mary Brimblecombe
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. If you liked "The Light Between Oceans" and "The Dressmaker" this Australian Gothic novel is for you.

Set in 1932, Ernie and Lily Hass and their daughter girlie make a new start, having lost everything to a failed wheat farming venture. But it's not easy. They move to a coastal community on the Western Australian coast, that is fraught with small town intricacies that are hard to see and difficult to navigate.

The plot unfolds well, the characters are beautifully drawn
Cassie Hamer
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. In this day and age of internet outrage it's easy to forget just the difficulty of life in Australia after the great depression. This book is an excellent reminder. Napier brilliantly recreates the sexism, racism and classism that existed in this period of Australian history. The research that's obviously gone into this book cannot be faulted, yet at the same time, the story is never overwhelmed by historical detail. The other standout of this book is the author's ability to create nu ...more
Deb Comerford
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Congrats to the author for her excellent debut. This is one of my favourite topics - early Australian society. Life was hard, especially for women, for men returned from war, for children, for men. A little predictable and soapy but hey I love a good soapy! The comparison with The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower’s Wife is apt. The writing is crafted and as an audio book it is brilliant.
3.5**** This was an enjoyable story set in the 1930's in small town WA. I like reading stories set in my home town, but I'm glad I wasn't around then. The constant worrying about what other people think and wanting to keep in with the best of society like Lily and Ernie feel they have to do in this story would have worn me down. This is a story about secrets, how everybody has them and the lengths people will go to keep them. How might life have been different for these characters had they not c ...more
Sally Piper
A taut historical drama packed with intriguing twists and turns that leave readers guessing right till the end.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book full of intrigue, and complex and interesting characters. I felt quite nervous for the characters at the end but was left feeling satisfied by the final page. Can’t wait to see what Kali writes next!
Kylie ward
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. If it wasn’t for the book club wouldn’t have picked this book up. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The writing was excellent and the characters were so well done even if I didn’t like them, I liked not liking them. I do feel as the the ending was slightly rushed over and I would have liked more into lily and her mother’s relationship. But I am already passing this book along to family members to read.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very compelling read - Napier has written a thickly layered story full of characters who have strength as well as flaws. None of them are particularly good, but no one is bad without good explanations for their behaviour. The book centres on the Hass family, and the web of secrets that they have from their community, and from each other. But the secrets of lots of others within the small town come into the story too. A strong plot drives the characters, and their secrets are revealed - along w ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this historical fiction, set in Australia during the depression. Each of the main characters was really engaging. Often with books that have the multiple viewpoints, I find myself rushing though one, or some, waiting to get back to the chapters about the character I like the most - but not this time. Really didn’t see the end twist coming - and I love that too! And all the rain and wind in the last few chapters - so atmospheric. I was really imagining the windswept coastline, even ...more
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Aussie Readers: The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is on NetGalley 34 29 Dec 04, 2017 03:16AM  

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Kali lives in Meanjin Brisbane, on unceded Yuggera land. A former anthropologist, she now writes historical and speculative fiction.

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