Publication Date: April 26th 2012
Book Source: Penguin Aust & NetGalley
Synopsis: Imagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care.
And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing...
He lives downstairs.
Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.
But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.
A gothic story about the very dark things that feed the creative process.
I'm slightly torn reviewing Night Beach. First the good stuff; I adored Kirsty Eagar's lyrical writing style, the unsettling atmosphere and breathtaking imagery. Night Beach is a coming of age story entwining obsession & creativity with the raw beauty of the ocean and the eerie menace of the unknown.
17 year old Abbie is artistic, lonely, introspective, obsessive and semi-pro surfer Kane, the object of her obsession. Personally I thought Kane was an ass but I could appreciate the arrogant 'bad boy' appeal. Abbie's personal growth is evident as the novel progresses but feeling a connection with Abbie and her love of the ocean, photography and art didn't translate into likeability for me.
Now here's where it gets messy. I normally love all things paranormal but the weaving of supernatural elements within the contemporary structure just didn't do it for me. I didn't really 'get' whether the malevolent shadows Abbie was seeing were a metaphor for the dark recesses of her own mind, symbolic of the darkness in Kane or a very real 'evil' ... maybe that was the idea? Open to interpretation or did I totally miss the point??
So overall, beautiful but bizarre. Does that make sense? This Aussie author truly has a gift. Without a doubt I loved the haunting beauty of her writing, so despite this one being just a bit too weird for me I'm keen to try something else from Kirsty Eagar.
Visit Kirsty Eagar's website to find out more about this author and her work