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Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
  

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Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016.

A celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique alliance with a pod of frisky killer whales - and in particular, a killer whale named Tom.

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Synopsis

Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett

When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure. It's a season marked not only by the sparsity of whales and the vagaries of weather, but also by the arrival of John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, on whom Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush. But hers is not the only romance to blossom amidst the blubber ...

Reviews

'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

'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

'Cinematic. The tale of a whaling family, its scope is ambitious and its heart big. You'll fall in love' Marie Claire (Australia)

'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

'Fresh, funny and lively' Express

'Just the ticket, particularly if you like a bit of comedy with your mammal spearing action' Esquire

About the Author

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her most recent film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier's Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier's Prize 2010. RUSH OH! is Shirley's first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th February 2016

Author

Shirley Barrett

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Publisher

Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Hardback
368 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780349006628

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