You probably haven’t heard of Favel Parrett. Her first book Past the Shallows will be published end of April this year and for a first novel it is truly breathtaking. It’s set on the south east coast of Tasmania, it’s about a bitter, widowed fisherman and his three sons. The oldest has managed to leave, the two younger ones have to deal with the father’s anger, abuse and drunken rages whilst also helping with the trawler fishing. I hate to compare authors, but Parrett does have a similar style to Tim Winton – that sparse, clean writing. The description of a wild Tasmanian winter made me want to reach for a rug, yet it’s mid summer!
Anita Shreve gives us a new novel every couple of years. Some are great, like Sea Glass and The Last Time They Met, and some are mediocre, like Change in Altitude and All He Ever Wanted. Her new novel, Rescue, slides more to the better end of the range. It’s set in contemporary Vermont where Peter Webster, a single father with an eighteen year old daughter, is a paramedic. We go back to his trainee days and the drunk girl he dragged from a wrecked car. He fell in love, they married, their daughter was born, and then she left. Now his daughter is drinking too much, and Peter tries to find out why his exwife, and now his daughter, have headed down this path. It’s a great holiday story.
Wow! Christmas is finally over and we always breathe a sigh of relief when calm starts to settle on Bookoccino. I thought it would be interesting to look at our bestsellers for the year. The top three places are taken by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo our best seller for the year. After The Girls, there was Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey and then Susan Duncan’s beautiful pictorial book on Pittwater, Life on Pittwater, came next, finally The Elegance of the Hedgehog. An interesting collection, isn’t it?