FITZPATRICK, Deb The Break Fremantle Press, 2014 243pp $24.99 pbk ISBN 9781922089632 SCIS 1665907
**N.B. This book is for mature readers/new adults/adults**
Twenty-two year old Rosie and her surfie partner, Cray, live in Fremantle. Discontented with their jobs they decide to have a sea change and move to Margaret River, to a cottage overlooking Hunt’s Beach. Liza and Fergus live with their teen son, Sam, and Ferg’s mother, Pip, on their farm in Margaret River. Mike, Fergus’ younger brother, in the last stages of his Methadone program, decides to move home to the farm. For Fergus, Mike’s arrival stirs up unresolved anger over the past. Connecting at a meeting to save the coastal environment from development, Rosie and Liza form a tenuous friendship which proves to be the saving catalyst for one of them when catastrophe strikes the bay.
In this relationship driven novel, Fitzpatrick has the knack of showing the reader the tensions bubbling just below the surface. In short chapters she reveals snapshots in time, capturing each character’s thoughts and motivations. There is also a strong sense of place in this novel, themes of belonging and community. Although slow to get moving, the story packs a punch in the final chapters. Having previously written for children, this is the author’s debut adult novel. If you love Winton, you’ll enjoy this read.
reviewed by Sharon Seymour