Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: Past the Shallows

…by Favel Parrett.

Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman whose temper is as unpredictable as the seas, along the remote coast of Tasmania. They also have an older brother Joe who no longer lives with them. Miles helps his father on the boat and when he is not doing that, enjoys the occasional surf with Joe. Harry on the other hand, is unable to go on the water due to his seasickness and instead, spends his time on the shore exploring. With their mum dead, Miles sees himself as Harry’s protector and despite how it can get overwhelming given Harry’s timidity, there is something about Harry that makes everyone fall in love with him and want to protect him. Everyone, except his own father.

What secret does their father hold that makes him such a bitter man?

Is a brother’s love enough to escape the clutches of misery?

Or will it all come to a devastating end?

This debut novel by Favel Parrett has been beautifully written. There is something extremely lyrical about the prose and despite never having been to Tasmania, the reader is bound to picture the rough seas and the desolate country and feel chilled to the bone like the characters. There are shades Tim Winton particularly with the description of the coast and the seas and in that manner, it is truly Australian. The book had me hooked with little teasers about what might have happened to Harry, Miles and Joe’s mother. And you are constantly questioning why their father is such a bitter man. My heart melted for both Miles and Harry. Harry because he’s just so pure and vulnerable and genuine. And Miles because of how responsible he tries to be and the way he sticks up for Harry to his own detriment while still being just a teenager. There are shades of Harper Lee’s character Boo Radley in George Fuller who Harry befriends. But sadly, the ending is nowhere near as uplifting as Harper Lee’s book. The book had me in tears by the end. And stayed with me long after tearing at my heart.

That, in my opinion, is a sign of a brilliant book.

My rating:

Favel on the web:



Where to buy the book:

Book Depository | Booktopia | Fishpond | Flipkart | Kindle

***This has been reviewed for 2013 Aussie Author Challenge, 2013 Australian Women’s Writer Challenge and the Off the Shelf Challenge***

Until next time,


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