Post Script: Path to the Night Sea – Alicia Gilmore

Path to the Sea

Path to the Night Sea

Alicia Gilmore

Regal House Publishing LLC

ISBN: 9780998839844

 

Description:

What happens while we choose not to see? When we ignore the paper on the windows, the absence of a child, the menace of a neighbour? What happens behind the locked doors, in the overgrown yard, during the passing of the years? What happens in the silence, in the seclusion, in the darkness and the night? What happened to Ellie?

 

 

My View:

What a read! Alicia Gilmore is a writer to watch out for, I cannot wait to see what inspires her next novel.

 

This book has:

√  Drama and is a dark, brooding and poignant narrative.

√ Perfect pacing, you will devour this in one sitting.

√ The dialogue is authentic and chilling. The voices/the characters pitch perfect.

√ The locations leap off the page.

√ The protagonist’ situation will break your heart, yet there is no melodrama here. This work of fiction screams to me – this could happen, this has happened and recent new feeds sadly support my theory.

√ The writing is extraordinarily good – and this is a debut novel? WOW!

√ An element of optimism; tragic yet the light shines in.

 

Alicia Gilmore I congratulate you! And look forward to your next book.

 

Happy book publishing day.

Guest Post – On Writing Path to the Night Sea – Alicia Gilmore

Path to the Sea

Welcome Alicia Gilmore to my blog. I recently asked Alicia to talk about how she came to write her amazing novel Path to the Night Sea – here is what she shared with me.

 

On writing Path to the Night Sea

 

Path to the Night Sea started as a short story in a fiction class with Sue Woolfe. Sue had given the class a selection of photographs and objects to spark our creativity and give us a physical stimulus to write a short fragment. I remember a small glass perfume bottle and a photograph caught my attention. The photo featured a woman in profile, seated at a piano, her hands poised to strike the keys. There was a cat sitting on top of the piano, and I wondered if these were the two most important things in her life – music and her pet. I started to write about this woman who would sit and play, not looking out of the curtained window, but indoors with her cat. Her face in profile, her ‘good side’… The perfume bottle that perhaps had belonged to a woman who would never get old. A bottle that held scented memories… Ideas and elements came together and what is now a lot of Day One in the novel formed the original short story. Sue read the story, said I had written the start of a wonderful novel and she had to know what happened to Ellie. I realised so I wanted to know too.

The story became darker the more I delved into Ellie’s world. Seven days seemed the fitting structure for Ellie to be introduced to the reader and for her to seek her path, tying in with the religious dogma she’d heard from her Grandmother and Father. Listening to music by Nick Cave and Johnny Cash helped me establish the mood at times and gave me the impetus to embrace the flaws and the darkness within my characters, especially Arthur. When I was writing the first drafts, I was living near the beach and the waves, particularly during storms, formed a natural soundtrack. If I peered out from my desk, I could catch glimpses of the ocean. By the time editing was underway, I had moved to a house that backed onto the bush and had inherited a cat. Listening to the raucous native birds, possums scurrying up trees and across the roof at night, dealing with the odd snake and lizards, plus watching the cat, heightened those natural elements of the story.

I was concerned about and for my characters. I needed to ensure that Arthur in particular had moments, however fleeting, when he was ‘human’, and that Ellie, despite her circumstances, not be passive. Ellie had to find the courage to fight for herself or remain lost to the world forever.   I found myself going off in tangents in early drafts with minor characters and subplots but judicious readers and editing brought the focus back to Ellie and Arthur, and the confines of restricted world they inhabit.

I had thought of letting Ellie go one morning years ago when I woke up and heard the news about Elizabeth Fritzl kidnapped and abused by her father. In my drowsy state listening to the radio, the reality of her situation came crashing in and I wanted to put my humble writings aside. What was fictional pain in the face of such devastating reality? As the recent shocking events in California this week have shown – thirteen children being trapped and chained at home by their parents – a nondescript house on the street can hide the most unimaginable terrors. Path to the Night Sea is my way of using language to explore familial dysfunction, small town horror, and ultimately, hope.

Sea

 

Post Script: Past The Shallows – Favell Parrett

Past The Shallows

Past the Shallows

Written by: Favel Parrett

Narrated by: David Wenham

Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 08/02/2016

Publisher: Hachette Australia Audio

 

Description:

Past the Shallows is the award-winning, best-selling debut novel from Favel Parrett about the bonds of brotherhood and the fragility of youth, narrated by David Wenham.

 

Everyone loves Harry. Everyone except his father.

Three brothers – Joe, Miles and Harry – are growing up on the remote south coast of Tasmania. The brothers’ lives are shaped by their father’s moods – like the ocean he fishes, he is wild and unpredictable. He is a bitter man warped by a devastating secret.

 

Miles tries his best to watch out for Harry, the youngest, but he can’t be there all the time. Often alone, Harry finds joy in the small treasures he discovers in shark eggs and cuttlefish bones. In a kelpie pup, a big mug of Milo and a secret friendship with a mysterious neighbour. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother’s love, are not enough.

 

Winner – The ABIA Award (Newcomer of the Year) 2012. Winner – The Dobbie Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Literary Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABA’s Bookseller’s Choice Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Indies Award (Debut Fiction) 2012.

©2011 Favel Parrett (P)2016 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

 


My View:

The combination of Favell Parrett’s words and David Wenham’s narration equals a beautiful experience for the soul and the ears! I have listened to a few audio books but this one beats them all – the narrative is poignantly read, is often heartbreaking, honest, and brutal and real. The ending – is not pretty – but pays homage to the bonds of siblings forged strong and unbreakable by the explosive temperament of a bitter and twisted father.

 

A mystery is slowly revealed. As a past tragedy unravels another is created. A brilliant audio book!

I have now added Favell Parrett to my must read authors list. David Wenham is a narrator of some note!

 

Post Script: Thicker Than Water – Richard Rossiter

 

A feminist’s perspective: echoes of forbidden love and family violence rebound in this narrative.

22488954

Thicker Than Water

Richard Rossiter

University of Western Australia Press

ISBN: 9781742586052

 

Description:

After years of living in England, Marie returns to the family home in southwest Australia, to a father whose destructive impulses have been curbed by a stroke and to a mother whose passivity Marie never understood. Behind her is Edy and the deep love they shared before he left, suddenly and without explanation. Even further back still is Marie’s memory of her father and his fraught relationships with his mother, brother, and stepfather. Yet, when Edy follows Marie back to Australia, her father’s shocking revelation brings hidden things to the surface. Thicker Than Water is quintessential Richard Rossiter fiction: an intense, poetic, family drama, as well as a psychological tragedy.

 

 My View:

This is a small book that punches well above it weight. If you are expecting a light easy going read you are mistaken for this is a story of deep sadness and intense emotions that shares more than a hint of feminist awareness in its discussion of love, attraction and domestic violence. Domestic/ family violence does not necessitate the act of physical violence; power over, control, are just as violating and debilitating as physical violence as the relationships between Kenneth and his wife, Helena and Kenneth and his children demonstrates. This relationship only just starts to tip in the favour of Helena when Kenneth’s power is reduced by a debilitating stroke. For a short while at least Kenneth needs her help. And that of his daughter. I wonder why Marie bothered – he has treated her and her brother appallingly. Is it a sense of duty? Kenneth’s arrogance and brutality are unforgivable – throwing both his children out of the family home because they choose to exert free will and then to insist Maire have a birthday party at home only to cancel it on the day of the party; how sadistic. Just a few examples of Kenneth’s true nature. I did not like this character.

 

Through the narrative we are aware that there are family secrets and as each one is slowly revealed we think we know where this story is heading, what the big reveal will be. But you will be wrong and you will shocked and you will be outraged. This is not how you wanted this story to end. It is not fair. And it is painful. And the ending begs the question – what would you do in these circumstances?

 

PS

The Margaret River Bookshop is launching this novella tonight – will you be there?