Author(s): Kirsty Gunn
At the start of a sun-drenched, sea-soaked summer's day, Ward is waiting on the beach. His friend, Alex, wants him to come to a party at Alison's where there'll be girls and drinks and the possibility of fun. But Ward is shy and self-conscious and struggling to move from under the weight of his powerful father. He'd rather wait on the beach for the surf to come up. As the the sun moves towards its highest point and the girls' laughter carries along the wind towards Ward, the tide changes and Ward is faced with a dramatic event that will change his life forever. This beautiful and intense coming-of-age story, set on New Zealand's East Coast, captures perfectly the discomforts and challenges of being fifteen years old with the world stretching out in front of you. Sensual, heady, as though dazed by the heat of her pages, Gunn slowly unfolds a tale of danger and sexuality, of mothers and sons and the fathers who rule them, and of the sea. First published 2006. Gunn, a New Zealander, who has lived in Britain for more than 20 years, has established herself as a uniquely powerful and significant voice, and has been described as 'a young master' by the Los Angeles Times. She has been compared with Raymond Carver for the exquisite sensitivity with which she sketches ordinary lives and makes them extraordinary. Her first novel Rain was made into a feature film.
Winner of Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award 2007 and Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book Award: Fiction 2007.