Content warning Minor plot points and minor theme mentioned
Probably more 3.5 stars - I’d certainly try one of his other books. Starts very well, with writing and images wonderfully evocative of the mid-20th century Tasmanian setting. Loses its way a few times, which was annoying: its not as if the author is struggling to keep things moving the whole time and the writing is generally not excellent. Perhaps I get a bit too picky, but in detailed realist writing I sort of want the details to be realistic. But that’s not how you would make a rudder (grain direction wrong), and you would not use shellac on a boat (not waterproof). Which makes me doubt most of the details of sailing. Although uncertain memory is a theme, this isn’t Illywhacker so I’m not quite sure why the research is awry. Also a few weird moments, such as learning about quoll habitat from one of his mother’s books (a character detail for the mother that is not otherwise explored or even hinted at, and when there was a perfectly formed vet character who could have given this information).