Past the Shallows (Paperback)

By Favel Parrett

Washington Square Press, 9781476754871, 253pp.

Publication Date: April 22, 2014



"If you read only one book this year, make sure it's this" (The Sunday Times, London): An award-winning debut novel from a rising star in Australia--a hauntingly beautiful story about the bond of brotherhood and the fragility of youth.

Joe, Miles, and Harry are growing up on the remote southern coast of Tasmania--a stark, untamed landscape swathed by crystal blue waters. The rhythm of their days is dictated by the natural world, and by their father's moods. Like the ocean he battles daily to make a living as a fisherman, he is wild and volatile--a hard drinker warped by a devastating secret. Unlike Joe, Harry and Miles are too young to move out, and so they attempt to stay as invisible as possible whenever their father is home. Miles tries his best to watch out for Harry, but he can't be there all the time. Often alone, Harry finds joy in the small treasures he discovers by the edge of the sea--shark eggs, cuttlefish bones, and the friendship of a mysterious neighbor. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother's love, simply are not enough...

Praise For Past the Shallows

"If you read only one book this year, make sure it's this."

"A finely crafted literary novel that is genuinely moving and full of heart."

"So real, so true—this novel sweeps you away in its tide."
-Robert Drewe


"Parrett's debut marks the addition of a strong voice to the chorus of Australian literature."

"A work by a new master...Parrett's debut is an uncompromising and memorable tale."