'Now there is only Skye and the dolphin. The world consists of nothing more. The world consists only of the sea, and in it is she and this dolphin who is twice her size and could kill her with a flick of his tail. He is there again, below her; she does not see him at first, merely senses a subtle change in temperature, in the way the water is moving. He is on his back again, floating up, towards her. He is presenting her his vulnerable belly and showing her, once more, the lines of chub that enfold a dolphin in its own smile. She clasps her arms to her sides to stop herself reaching out.
He looms before her like a holy visitation; he is so close now she can see the scratches in his soft hide. She can see his small white teeth. For a moment, a long, marvellous, magical moment, they are staring each other in the eye. She understands, now, has become quite clear about the sort of joy that gives rise to her singing. It is the residue of her life on the river, and of her life-altering first dolphin swim. If her body were anything but itself at this moment, it would be a song, one of her very own; a wordless song of joy.'
Bathing in Light opens with a wake and closes with a suicide. It is the story of Thomas, a barrister and great bear of a man who from the outset, has the bearing of a broken creature. It is the story of his younger sister, Skye, journalists of dubious celebrity profiles, fast woman, devoted daughter and sister, and lover of the sea. It is a story which invites the reader to solve one mystery-the motives behind a sibling' suicide-and in so doing throws up a whole new mystery. How does one survive when the other cannot?
Set in Sydney and London and on the coastline surrounding those two cities, Bathing in Light is a novel filled with dark secrets and quiet, dazzling hope.
What the critics have said about Gaby's first novel, The Underwharf
'Naher is a talented writer and this bold first novel alternates between the brightness of Sydney Harbour with its flocks of cockatoos and frangipani trees, and the dullness of London winter, its night buses, Brixton clubs and the jaded literary scene into which Sophie enters to look for her dad.' Elisa Segrave, The Observer
'It's an engaging, often touching, often shocking story. Naher has a wonderful eye for detail and an ability to paint an image so vividly, the reader feels like part of the picture. It's a slice of Sydney culture, a beautifully balanced, thoroughly enjoyable novel.' Ariel View
'What distinguishes Naher's writing is her ability to make Sophie a modern misfit shuffling back and forth across the world hoping that somewhere something would click both an understandable and likeable character. Naher's novel does what literature can but does