‘Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to love like my own friends, Rush Oh! reminded me why I love reading’ Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites
Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in New South Wales,chronicles the particularly difficult season of 1908 – a story that is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.
Mary Davidson has got used to looking after her five siblings whilst catering for her father’s boisterous whaling crew. But when John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, arrives on the doorstep wanting to join her father, Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush which upends her world…
Swinging from Mary’s hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is an enchanting celebration of both Mary’s unique voice and an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of frisky killer whales – led by one named Tom.
A charming, irreverent and totally absorbing read * Emerald Street * Just the ticket, particularly if you like a bit of comedy with your mammal spearing action * Esquire * While depicting the danger, adrenaline and excitement of the boat chases, [Rush Oh!] also repeatedly celebrates the beauty of these magnificent creatures, mourning the cruelty involved in hunting and killing them * West Australian * Rush Oh!'s strengths are manifold. It's a nostalgic, quirky book - peppered with stunning illustrations and seamless inclusion of actual newspaper excerpts from the time - that really captures an intriguing moment in Australia's past. Expertly balancing light and dark, Barrett confronts the moral complexities of whaling while simultaneously sketching a range of hilarious character portraits, and maintaining an endearing, and often challenging, narrative voice. This novel is a fairytale for adults, which I found poignant, funny and original * Canberra Weekly * A novel that is thick with briny flavour. Best of all are the descriptions of the whale hunts, which are steeped in a luxurious, bracing horror * Metro * This beautifully written Australian novel narrated by whaler's daughter Mary Davidson is funny, quirky and features a cast of characters that includes a pod of Killers. A charming debut * Diva * Fresh, funny and lively * Express * A rollicking seaborne ride . . . humorous, imaginative and tender, you'll want to race through Rush Oh! to find out what happens * Independent * A memorable, often heart-in-mouth debut that's brought to life by Mary's humour, her self-awareness and her accompanying illustrations * Daily Mail * Cinematic. The tale of a whaling family, its scope is ambitious and its heart big. You'll fall in love * Marie Claire (Australia) * Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to love like my own friends, Rush Oh! reminded me why I love reading -- Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites Beautiful and brutal, witty and kind, Rush Oh! is a story of great surprises and a beating heart - a book never to forget -- Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
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