Synopses & Reviews
impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman's
coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history
of New South Wales.
1908: It's the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage
narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father's
boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in
the wake of their mother's death. But when the handsome John Beck-a
former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious
past-arrives at the Davidson's door pleading to join her father's crews,
suddenly Mary's world is upended.
As her family struggles to
survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she
navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the
newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side
to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them.
Swinging from Mary's own hopes and disappointments to the challenges that have beset her family's whaling operation, RUSH OH!
is an enchanting blend of fact and fiction that's as much the story of
its gutsy narrator's coming-of-age as it is the celebration of an
extraordinary episode in history.
"A fresh and subversive take on a genre traditionally owned by male leviathans." New York Times Book Review, *Editors' Choice*
"[An] epic tale." O: The Oprah Magazine
About the Author
Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Her film Love Serenade won the Caméra d'Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. In 2010, the script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize and the West Australian Premier's Prize. Rush Oh! is her first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.