#Novella Thea Astley
by Thea Astley
Finish date: 31 May 2022
Review: Beachmasters (ISBN: 0140079122)
First few pages…did these pages hook me as a reader by hinting at what lies ahead? No…just a lot of ‘triple-speak” (languages pidgin, seaspeak, French/English)…later in the book “rainspeak and tearspeak”. Mentioning all these “quirky” languages felt gimmicky.
Astlely uses Gavi a 13 yr old boy rummaging around a box of old photos to give us the backstory about his family history that is locked in these Kodak moments. He discovers that he is ‘hapkas’ mixed-race. Not impresssed so far….
Pg 64-77: Finally I have found a glimmer of good writing but had read almost 50% of the book before I reached this point. The rebellion from the POV from Headmaster Woodful was good. I did not feel for any of the characters, but finally found an emotional connection with this man. There is a sacrifice he made for the islanders that is apparent and he truly feels for the islanders.
Note: Ashley bookends her story: pg 1 and on pg 185 Gavi and Uncle Narota (instigator of the rebellion) say goodbye at the prison gate.
Page 78 – 174 is a series of chapters highlighting 9 different characters. The idea was to describe the island revolution from their POV’s . Character development was pretty much non existent…beige characters just dipping in and out of the narrative for a brief moment. Still not impresssed…
So disappointed with this story.
I finished it b/c my goal is to read all 15 novels by Astley
I’ve read 12 and it is clear to me that Thea Astley’s first 6 books written 1958-1972 are the best.
After that she seems to …..run out of steam.