Evocative. Transforming. Gentle. Powerful.
When the Night Comes
The hauntingly beautiful story of a young girl transformed by the power of kindness from award-winning author Favel Parrett.
Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother’s sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart’s stone streets seeps into everything.
Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all – of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life on board. Like the snow white petrels that survive in the harshest coldest place, this lonely girl at the bottom of the world will learn that it is possible to go anywhere, be anything. But she will also find out that it is just as easy to lose it all.
For Isla, those two long summers will change everything.
Favel Parrett delivers an evocative and gently told story about the power fear and kindness have to change lives.
This is a beautifully written book – I loved the language, the style, the characters, the setting … the realistic optimism this work conveys. This narrative reminds me that there are kind, gentle, thoughtful, sensitive people in the world and if you think hard enough you will be able to identify some in your own life that have eased the way for you; these are remarkable people and this book pays homage to these memories.
Ms Parrett takes you on a journey – literally and figuratively – we journey with the crew of the MS Nella Dan – a ship that is home to so many, filled with extraordinary characters, where we learn you don’t have to be related to be part of a family. We journey with Isla as she is shown a different path, one of light and inspiration and happiness through storytelling, thoughtfulness, inclusivity and kindness.
This is a beautifully executed book that takes you to new places and adventures- Antarctica, Hobart Tasmania, Denmark and the classroom – where we are reminded that some teachers do make a difference. I loved the descriptions of the of foreign landscapes in this book – in particular the description of the snow kestrels is haunting and evocative, the “little angels come down from the sky and fly around you…I closed my eye and dreamt of falling snow that turned to pure white birds. I watched each snowflake fly away one by one, and I wished I had wings so that I could go with them. I wish that I could follow.” Beautiful.