Kathryn Lomer, Talk Under Water, Penguin, 29 July 2015, 322 pp., $19.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780702253690
Will and Summer meet in the most modern of ways: social media and a shared interest in solo sailor Jessica Watson’s blog brings the fellow Tasmanians together online. The opening of this novel tracks their first encounters through email and the relationship develops from there: Lomer moves from the email form to prose to letters, constantly changing character perspective. We also learn that Summer is hearing impaired and that adds another layer to this teen romance. I really enjoy multiple perspectives and style forms in novels so this appealed to me and gave the novel a contemporary feel. Lomer is also to be commended for portraying hearing impairment in a central character, adding to the welcomed expansion of diverse characters in Australian YA – a guide to Auslan is included at the close of the novel. Recommended for junior to mid secondary readers.
Reviewed by Angie Holst