'He found an egg at the park so he incubated it and this tortoise hatched out.'
Skye's sixteen, and her mum's got yet another new boyfriend. Trouble is, Jason's bad news. Really bad. Now mum's quit her job and they're all moving north to Port Flinders, population nobody.
'That's a Southern Right Whale. They have the largest balls of any animal in the world.'
She'd do anything to keep her ten-year-old brother safe. Things she can't even say out loud. And when Jason gets violent, Skye knows she has to take control. She's got to get Ben out and their mum's useless as. The train home to Adelaide leaves first thing each morning and they both need to be on it. Everything else can wait.
'Ladybirds bleed from their knees when they're stressed.'
The Gulf is an acute, moving and uplifting story from the inimitable, alchemical imagination of Anna Spargo-Ryan.
About the Author
Anna Spargo-Ryan has worked in digital marketing for 15 years, including time on Ramsay Street, in the Formula 1 pits and on bus magazines. Her short fiction has been published in Kill Your Darlings, and she also writes on parenting and mental health for The Guardian, Overland and Daily Life, among other publications. She lives in Melbourne with her people, animals, and a cat called Norman.
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Comments about The Gulf:
Drawing you in from the very first page, The Gulf makes you part of this little family from the start. Dysfunctional relationships, kids grown-up too fast and family violence are all popular subjects in today's world, but somehow Anna Spargo-Ryan weaves them in a way which allows the subjects of the story to be the focus, not the narrative itself. Seeing their world through the eyes of Skye, the 16-year old linchpin of the family, the view is somehow both refreshing and mundane. Dealing with some of the worst the world has to offer, Skye takes in her stride in a way that is strikingly real, but which popular culture rarely manages to address.
Real without being voyeuristic. Dramatic without being sensational. This is one of the best portrayals of a story of suburban family violence I have ever read. It tells the story of many hundreds of families without artifice, but still with words and phrases that take your breath away. 'He smiled, crushed me in his solitary dimple,' was a particular highlight.
This is a book for adults and young adults alike. I wish 16-year old me had had a book like this - knowing that there were other 'Skyes' out there would have helped me feel less alone.
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 30th May 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.38