The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

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Hachette Australia, Jan 30, 2018 - Fiction - 416 pages
1 Review

Every family has secrets that bind them together. A heart-rending story of a guesthouse keeper and his wife who attempt to start over, from devastatingly talented debut author Kali Napier.

1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn't easy.

Into the Hasses' new life wanders Lily's shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after three harrowing years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily and Girlie really are.

Inspired by the author's own family history, The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. Kali Napier breathes a fever-pitch intensity into the story of these emotionally fragile characters as their secrets are revealed with tragic consequences. If you loved The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower's Companion you will love this story.

'One of the best books I've read this year. I absolutely loved it. Totally gripping, beautifully written, the characterisation is superb. An absolutely stunning book. I am still thinking about it' Melissa Ashley, author of THE BIRDMAN'S WIFE

'This beautifully written, intense tale of a family's heart-rending search for belonging is Kali Napier's debut novel, but there's a sophistication to her storytelling. The secrets of the title unfurl slowly with hints dripping through every page' Australian Woman's Weekly

'Napier has blended fact and fiction to great effect, writing with a raw emotional power that at times, is devastating' Better Reading

'Glorious, compulsive, powerful Aussie debut about the lengths people will go to keep their families together' The Advertiser

'Beautifully told, this is a poignant and memorable novel' Kate Forsyth

'an absorbing tale of family secrets, lies, betrayal and sacrifice... I found it difficult to put down' Cass Moriarty, author

'If you enjoyed similar recent Australian novels such as Joy Rhoades' The Woolgrower's Companion, Lucy Treloar's Salt Creek, Lisa Bigelow's We That Are Left, and Rosalie Ham's The Dressmaker, then this is definitely for you' Historical Novel Society

'Historically significant, eloquently told, this novel is a tour de force that will find its place among Australia's best' Jenn J McLeod, author

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AngelaJMaher - LibraryThing

An intriguing story of family and secrets. Sometimes a historical setting can make it difficult to identify with the characters, but that's not the case with this book. The fears, anxieties, desires ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

KALI NAPIER worked in Bangladesh as an anthropologist on gender programs before working as an Aboriginal family history researcher for the Queensland government and as a Native Title anthropologist in the mid-west of Western Australia, the setting for THE SECRETS AT OCEAN'S EDGE. The novel was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award as was her first manuscript - also a finalist in the Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. Kali is currently an MPhil candidate in creative writing at the University of Queensland. She now lives in Queensland with her two children.

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