Review: When The Night Comes by Favel Parrett

 

Title: When The Night Comes

Author: Favel Parrett

Published: Hachette August 2014

Read an Extract

Status: Read from August 25 to 26, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Favel Parrett’s debut, Past the Shallows, caught the imagination of the Australian literary community in 2011. When the Night Comes is her highly anticipated second novel, in which Parrett tells the story of Isla and Bo whose lives are briefly entwined during the late 1980’s.

Twelve year old Isla has recently arrived in Hobart with her newly divorced mother and younger brother. A quiet and thoughtful girl she isn’t finding it easy to adjust, feeling dislocated and lonely.
Bo is a Danish galley chef on the ‘Nella Dan’, a supply ship sailing regularly between Tasmania and Antarctica. He loves the rhythm of life at sea, is awed by the majesty of Antarctica, and takes pride in following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
Bo and Isla meet when Bo becomes Isla’s mother’s lover over a period of 18 months or so during his periods ashore and When The Night Comes explores their brief connection, in amongst a series of life changing events.

Parrett is skilled at creating vivid scenes for the reader that also reverberate with emotion,

“…when I reach the top the view hits me with full force. the whole of the rich blue bay, still. Perfect. Nella Dan there in her spot, reflecting red off the water. the Sky cloudless. Giant white cliffs running on and on, then out to the horizon, icebergs for as far as you can see. Icebergs lined up for all of time, blue and brilliant white taking up the whole scene. Every blue that there is – that exists. One million shades of blue – and white. The scale of it all measured against me, one man standing here. Just one man, small and breathless.”

I have to admit at about a quarter of the way through the novel I actually wondered if I could finish the book, finding the often disjointed prose and repetitive phrasing irritating. However by the half way mark I’d finally settled into the dreamlike rhythm of the narrative and gained as appreciation for its unique tempo. I eliminated all distractions (i.e. sent the kids to bed) and began again, reading it straight through this time absorbed by the bitter chill, the moving water and the growing light.

When the Night Comes is a quietly powerful novel that demands all of the reader’s attention, and rewards those that give it willingly.

When the Night Comes is available to purchase from

Hachette Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

awwbadge_2014

About these ads

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 20:51:11

    I reviewed it similarly. A real slow burner, but it stayed with me well after I’d turned the last page.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Debbish
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 17:23:28

    I haven’t read (or got) this but am a little undecided. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    Reply

  3. Kate W
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 19:46:35

    I LOVED this book – didn’t find it difficult to get into. Once I started, I couldn’t stop – just beautiful.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Trackback: August 2014 Roundup: Classics and Literary | Australian Women Writers Challenge
  5. Trackback: Interview with ‘When the Night Comes’ author Favel Parrett | Australian Women Writers Challenge
  6. Brona
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 19:52:05

    I read Pavel’s first book in one great big gulp of emotion, sounds like this one could be a similar experience if I have the time and space to do it properly!

    Like

    Reply

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,725 other followers