Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: The Gulf by Anna Spargo-Ryan #AWW2017 #AusRead17

Sixteen-year-old Skye lives with her mother and her ten-year-old brother, Ben in Adelaide. Their lives are suddenly turned upside down with the arrival of her mum’s new boyfriend, Jason. Jason works a lot, except they don’t know what exactly he does. When their mum decides to move with him to Port Flinders, Skye and Ben are uprooted from all that is familiar. And then, Jason gets violent. Now Skye must figure out a way to get out of there but more importantly, she wants to help Ben and will do anything to protect him.

Anna Spargo-Ryan is quickly becoming one of my favourite Australian authors. With her second novel, she delves into the world of domestic violence and dysfunctional families. She perfectly captures the anxieties of being a teenager in this situation; torn between love and anger towards her mother and the protectiveness towards a younger sibling. Her depiction of Ben is endearing. Full of facts and information, he is walking encyclopaedia and it’s not hard to see why he struggles to fit in with his peers at Port Flinders. Like Skye, Spargo-Ryan manages to make us readers feel protective towards Ben.

Working in mental health with young people, families like Skye’s and Ben’s are not unusual for me and I loved how close to reality this book was without any sensationalism. The writing is beautiful while simultaneously being simple and clear. It’s the perfect example of showing, not telling.

My rating:

***This has been read and reviewed for the 2017 Australian Author Challenge and the 2017 Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. Also linking up with Alicia for Open Slather and Corinne for Monday Musings***

Until next time,

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  • Di from Max The Unicorn
    July 24, 2017 at 7:27 am

    This sounds like a great book to sit down and relax with! I need to read more books!
    Di from Max The Unicorn recently posted…Review: Proactiv+ Blemish Control Range*My Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      It is a good read…I wish I had more time to read more books! 😀

  • Di from Max The Unicorn
    July 24, 2017 at 7:27 am

    This sounds like a great book to sit down and relax with! I need to read more books!
    Di from Max The Unicorn recently posted…Review: Proactiv+ Blemish Control Range*My Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      It is a good read…I wish I had more time to read more books! 😀

  • Alicia O'Brien
    July 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I haven’t read any of Anna’s books, as yet. I’d find this an interesting read.
    Alicia O’Brien recently posted…The cup fenceMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      The Paper House was also a beautiful read…more literary than this one but this story grabbed me more.

  • Alicia O'Brien
    July 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I haven’t read any of Anna’s books, as yet. I’d find this an interesting read.
    Alicia O’Brien recently posted…The cup fenceMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      The Paper House was also a beautiful read…more literary than this one but this story grabbed me more.

  • Bellybytes
    July 24, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Oh dear. The only Australian author I remember enjoying was Nevil Shute. And then there was Colleen McCullough with The Thorn Birds which I only read after I watched the serial. So perhaps I will try with this recommendation though I’m not too happy reading about domestic violence…Thanks for sharing this review.
    Bellybytes recently posted…Two Potatoes in a Square # WOW Dream OnMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      I must confess I haven’t read either of those and haven’t heard of Nevil Shute! 😛 I love books on dysfunctional families, so this was right up my alley

  • Bellybytes
    July 24, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Oh dear. The only Australian author I remember enjoying was Nevil Shute. And then there was Colleen McCullough with The Thorn Birds which I only read after I watched the serial. So perhaps I will try with this recommendation though I’m not too happy reading about domestic violence…Thanks for sharing this review.
    Bellybytes recently posted…Two Potatoes in a Square # WOW Dream OnMy Profile

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      I must confess I haven’t read either of those and haven’t heard of Nevil Shute! 😛 I love books on dysfunctional families, so this was right up my alley

  • Linda @ Circle of Daydreams
    July 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve not read any of her books…. one to add to my list by the sound of it! I spent waaaaayyyyy too much in our Collins bookstore today, so it will have to wait a little while!

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      She writes beautifully. Her first novel, The Paper House, was full of beautiful sentences and tugged at the heartstrings too. I reviewed it last year

  • Linda @ Circle of Daydreams
    July 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve not read any of her books…. one to add to my list by the sound of it! I spent waaaaayyyyy too much in our Collins bookstore today, so it will have to wait a little while!

    • Sanch Writes
      July 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      She writes beautifully. Her first novel, The Paper House, was full of beautiful sentences and tugged at the heartstrings too. I reviewed it last year

  • Rajlakshmi
    July 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    this sounds like an intense read. I am curious to know how they survived and got away. It’s awful when kids have to go through this.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…10 on 10 – Short Sad PoemsMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    July 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    this sounds like an intense read. I am curious to know how they survived and got away. It’s awful when kids have to go through this.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…10 on 10 – Short Sad PoemsMy Profile

  • Sheethal
    July 24, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Haven’t read any of her books. I like the review. Got more curios to know how it goes. Adding to the tbr.
    Sheethal recently posted…The One That Got AwayMy Profile

  • Sheethal
    July 24, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Haven’t read any of her books. I like the review. Got more curios to know how it goes. Adding to the tbr.
    Sheethal recently posted…The One That Got AwayMy Profile

  • Bhavya
    July 24, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Lovely review you have put up here, Sanch. Are her books available on Kindle? Must check out.
    PS: Since this is also about showing, not telling you could add it to the WritingWednesday’s post on Writetribe too.

  • Bhavya
    July 24, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Lovely review you have put up here, Sanch. Are her books available on Kindle? Must check out.
    PS: Since this is also about showing, not telling you could add it to the WritingWednesday’s post on Writetribe too.

  • Shalini
    July 25, 2017 at 12:09 am

    5 stars? Wow! I’m definitely getting a copy. The storyline sounds great and I love your reviews, Sanch.
    Shalini recently posted…To Have or Have NotMy Profile

  • Shalini
    July 25, 2017 at 12:09 am

    5 stars? Wow! I’m definitely getting a copy. The storyline sounds great and I love your reviews, Sanch.
    Shalini recently posted…To Have or Have NotMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    July 25, 2017 at 1:00 am

    That’s a pic that looks familiar!
    The Gulf does seem like my kind of a read. Checking Anna out.

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    July 25, 2017 at 1:00 am

    That’s a pic that looks familiar!
    The Gulf does seem like my kind of a read. Checking Anna out.

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