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The Secrets at Ocean's Edge : The top ten bestseller - Kali Napier

The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

The top ten bestseller

Paperback Published: 30th January 2018
ISBN: 9780733637919
Number Of Pages: 416

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1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn't easy.

Into the Hasses' new life wanders Lily's shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after three harrowing years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily and Girlie really are.

Inspired by the author's own family history, The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. Kali Napier breathes a fever-pitch intensity into the story of these emotionally fragile characters as their secrets are revealed with tragic consequences. If you loved The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower's Companion you will love this story.

About the Author

Kali Napier worked in Bangladesh as an anthropologist on gender programs before working as an Aboriginal family history researcher for the Queensland government and as a Native Title anthropologist in the mid-west of Western Australia, the setting for The Secrets at Ocean's Edge.

The novel was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award as was her first manuscript - also a finalist in the Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. Kali is currently an MPhil candidate in creative writing at the University of Queensland. The character of Ernie in The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is based on her great-grandfather, who settled briefly in Dongara during the Depression. Kali now lives in Queensland with her two children.

Industry Reviews

One of the best books I've read this year. I absolutely loved it. Totally gripping, beautifully written, the characterisation is superb. An absolutely stunning book. I am still thinking about it. - Melissa Ashley, author of THE BIRDMAN'S WIFE

An engaging mystery while also being an absorbing tale of family secrets, lies, betrayal and sacrifice. The story brims with authenticity that comes from painstaking research. The gradual release of information about the family combines to create a level of suspense that is sustained and that kept me guessing until the very end. I found it difficult to put down. The author knows how to keep a secret, how to pass on a secret and how - and when - to divulge a secret. - Cass Moriarty, author

Glorious, compulsive, powerful Aussie debut about the lengths people will go to keep their families together - The Advertiser

A story layered with all the hallmarks that make for an Australian classic. I loved this incredible novel. I enjoyed every beautifully evocative sentence . . . I didn't want it to end. - THERESA SMITH, Australian Women Writers Challenge

paints a vivid picture of post-WWI Australia... The secrets multiply as the story progresses... an absorbing historical piece that also delves deeply into the emotional lives of its flawed and fascinating characters. - Gail Cleare, USA TODAY bestselling author of THE TASTE OF AIR

Beautifully told, this is a poignant and memorable novel - Kate Forsyth

Inspired by the author's own family history, The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. If you loved The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower's Companion you will love this story. - Queensland Times

Inspired by the author's own family history, this is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family's search for belonging. Fans of The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower's Companion will love this book. - Law Society Journal

Oceans that bind us Together


Behind all women are the ghosts of the women we most want to be. The haunting, if you like, of the perfection we may try to live up to. I felt for Lily, the mother in this story, not only because of the weight of the secrets she bares, but because of the guilt she wore like a sodden coat and the ever present stench of 'not being enough.' I think most women can relate. What awful things we do to ourselves when we simply refuse to love who we are, accept our past as being the best we were able to do at the time and hold hope for all our tomorrows. I still battle the ghost of a woman I think I 'should' be and the crazy-making thoughts that I will never be 'enough'. The thought I was struck with while reading this book was, 'the woman I fail to measure up to in my head isn't even real.' She's a ghost of my own making. *sigh. I had my hair cut recently and thought, "I don't look like me." But then I stared deeper into that mirror. I AM me. There isn't anyone else to be. I am that person in the mirror. I am all her ashes and all her beauty. And if I would only learn to fully accept her, I would not feel so continually haunted by my own judgements. It's a process I suppose. And that's just it really, I am a process. I am more convinced than ever after reading this book that the only freedom we ever really have will come from loving ourselves EXACTLY where we are and EXACTLY as we are. Secrets was a deep and heavy thread throughout this novel. Oh, the sheer magnitude of them! The crippling weight! And yet, when they were told the characters were free. Even just simply free to accept their own imperfections. Kali Napier writes beautifully! Her words made me think about myself as a woman, about the way I support or don't support the women around me and how I can love deeper.

QLD, Austra


Strong, diverse characters and a cracking story


I loved this book - an evocative journey to a time, place and community - I felt like I was there amidst it all , gleaning the snippets that yes, added up to so many secrets...reminding us that all actions have consequences and not always intended or desirable ones. Strong, memorable and diverse characters all trying to make their way through personal and economic challenges, entangled with each other in a compelling story. Highly recommend.



The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

5.0 2


ISBN: 9780733637919
ISBN-10: 0733637914
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 30th January 2018
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 14.9  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1

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