Guide Past the Shallows

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What do you think? Very, very impressed indeed. I thought it's a very poignant book. I thought it was beautifully written. It's quite discreetly written. There were moments when I thought, 'Ooh, we're heading into familiar ground here. I read it in one sitting, Jen. It was just like a long piece of poetry. I know that part of the world. It was very evocative for me. The prose just did wash in and out like the tide.

And it actually took hold of me and took me away.

Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett

I finished reading it on a plane, and I was crying on a plane, which doesn't happen to me very often. Beautifully written, simply written, good story simply told. I think when you're dealing with pretty emotional subjects like kids in jeopardy, it's easy to go overboard, and I don't think she did that at any stage.

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Um, subtle, beautiful, yeah. It is a fine book. I don't mean fine in a tepid sense. It's just a fine, solid book. I find it very difficult on here, I think, when it's first-time Australian authors, I feel a bit stymied. I wouldn't tear this apart anyway, because I do think it's a fine book, but I did worry that even if I hated it, I wouldn't have felt comfortable coming on here and being as, you know, robust about it. I'm very sensitive, that's what it is. So there's absolutely no reason why we shouldn't talk about a first novel. Isn't that the excitement of it? Wouldn't you rather be told fairly early on, 'Darls, don't write another one,' than just spend your whole life slogging away for no good reason?

It makes me feel a little bit that both hands are tied up behind my back. I would say if I didn't like it. I did think it was fine. I didn't love it. I don't feel as moved. I felt, a little bit pedestrian. I felt, you know, it was a fine book. But it's not one that I would rush out to give to other people. I even feel terrible saying that.

Sydney Writers' Centre interviews Australian author Favel Parrett

You're allowed! The thing is, I mean, you're the authors. What an author wants most is to find a reader. Now, whether that reader loves it or even thinks it's not as good as that person's book, whatever, but you want people to know that you've written this book, and that's the hardest thing. Because that's what most authors No, I'm kidding. I missed that movie. But, yeah, look, this book did move me very deeply. But I just think the characters were really beautifully drawn. It's about a couple of young kids, the youngest of whom is nine, I think, and And then they've got an older brother, Joe, who's Just their circumstances, the fact that they're in jeopardy, as I was saying earlier, is always slightly risky territory to move into because you run the risk of being really melodramatic with it, I suppose.

And I think that's why she's done such a great job with it, because it is rather restrained. The story, the emotion of the story carries you along more than You never feel like you're being pushed or forced.

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It's not a fresh plot and it's not a big plot. It's really simple. Three brothers growing up And there's not a woman, hardly, in the whole book. You know, you start to put together It draws you through. It just carries you out. You pick things up as you go along. For example, I loved the way she makes the word 'Dad' so sinister.

You know? Their father, who is not a likeable man, is only referred to as 'Dad'. You do learn his name, but indirectly. But 'Dad' becomes so sinister.


I thought that was superb. And the other thing I really liked about it was the way the points of view change, both from the kids, particularly Harry and Miles, the two youngest brothers. But then there's a moment where we're introduced to a character called Aunt Jean, who is their dead mother's sister. And you see Aunt Jean First of all you think, 'Oh, she's ghastly,' because she's not letting them do something.

Then Miles, the middle brother, discovers, buried in her linen cupboard, a box with baby clothes in it that have clearly never been used. And all of a sudden you have sympathy for this woman. And then, two paragraphs later, she does something else, and that sympathy's gone. And it's just so deftly done. It's really superbly done. And you know you said it was sort of familiar territory? That's what I took it that you were alluding to when you said it does cover familiar territory. To me, I thought that I'd read a book that was tonally similar by a better writer.

That's what I felt that I'd I know that no subject is original, and there's a lot of Obviously, just because he wrote about surfing and family doesn't mean that nobody else can write it, but it's also he That is a perfect book. But then I thought about it. Is this Breath revisited? And I thought, no, because - for me anyway - Breath was about boys, middle-class boys, comfortable boys, taking risks for fun.

And that was what that book This is about boys, as you say, Chris, at risk. This is a much darker, darker, tougher book. Live in trailers. It's about them surviving, isn't it? It's very, very, you know, resonant, for me. In that she says she's lived down there, in that area, so she's writing what she knows in that way.

She talks about the inspiration for Harry, especially, the young boy, being her brother. You kind of wonder, 'Can she do it again? The thinly veiled autobiographical novel is always the sort of first cab off the rank, I suppose, for a lot of people. Not me. I haven't been to jail. Nor set fire to anyone, strangely enough. But yeah, I think she can do it again.

It didn't feel like it was merely a rendering of her childhood. And I've met Favel, but I don't know her, really, at all.

Review: Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett ·

But I didn't get that impression. There was enough distance and there was enough, sort of, um, 'writerly' ability elsewhere for me to think that of course she can do it again. I thought it was beautiful. Favel Parrett, Past The Shallows -. They had a pretty rough life, growing up without a mother as she had passes away some time ago. They also had a father who was abusive towards them and not to mention that they were also financially poor. Joe and Miles have the responsibility of looking after their youngest brother Harry and their father. However during the book, Joe leaves to go live with his grandfather to escape the responsibilities of his father and Harry.

This leaves poor Miles to have to take on all the responsibility himself. The thought of children being upset and abused can make many people upset and sympathise for the characters. This could be a key strategy that Favel used to keep her readers engaged and on the edge. I found this book to be quite sad and depressing and not the most interesting thing to read, especially as a teenager. She lives in Australia with her partner, David, and her two dogs, Dougal and Bear. Find out more at FavelParrett.

Author Favel Parrett. Publisher Hachette Australia. Date of Publication Category Novels. Menu Log In Join Us.

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