Summary - Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.
And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?
Review - Raw Blue can be described in one sole word - powerful. It's a book that examines the tough elements and people in life with a roaring crash tackle. Carly has experienced something (deliberately being vague) that has wiped her previous life away, instead all she looks forward to is the joy of surfing.
Carly's one messed up, ball of anger. She's alone, vulnerable, and in immense pain. She also a walking contradiction - an absolute slob at home but paranoid about food poisoning at her cafe's kitchen. Eager fills the page with the minutia of Carly's work life - her responsibilities as a cook, her feelings and concerns for her co-workers and how to make Eggs Benedict. In contrast, her life outside of her work and that of her past, is spotty at best. It's an excellent depiction of the effect unresolved anger has on every facet of one's life.
It's a truly impressive debut work - dark, full of turmoil with the occasional cloud break - just like the ocean. The characters are all well crafted. Danny is one that particularly struck me because he was so unexpected, for the reader and for Carly also. He adds some vital whimsicality to the novel, his synaesthesia is a condition that I have never heard of and now wish to know more about. It's a book that challenges the reader to stick with it, just as Carly challenges those to stay with her.
It's an extremely real, tense book that will move you. It's an impressive start to a promising career.
Published: 29th June 2009
Format: Paperback, 273 pages
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Website - http://www.kirstyeagar.com/
Blog - http://www.kirstyeagar.com/blog/