Summary - In the beginning it seems so simple. A poem in the mail. A weekend invitation to the coast. But when Sun says yes to a midnight walk, her life becomes suddenly complicated. Saltwater Moons tells the story of Sun Langley during her final months of Year Twelve. There's the intensity of her first relationship, complicated by the fact she continues to exchange poems with her boyfriend's best mate. It's a story about love and betrayal, about constantly longing for the things we can't have.
Review - Upon reading Julie Gittus' debut novel, Saltwater Moons, it is easy to be struck by how authentic the novel is to the teen experience. There are no dashing leads, outrageously attractive people or supernaturally gifted species. It's about teens, the beach and the need for independence and it's written superbly.
Gittus has taken a fairly meek character and made her experiences and decisions intensely personal. She's taken such a gentle approach that at times you don't realise how much a moment had affected you until minutes later. It's definitely an emotion swirler! Each character is very clearly declined and understandable. Even the bad decisions are ones that you can empathise with, especially impressive when some of their actions are intolerable.
The use of poetry and art throughout is beautifully achieved. Reading this novel is life being swallowed by a warm, calm wave. It's all encompassing, soothing and moving. Romance might be at it's core with her interactions with Tycho and her lusty ones with Mark, but the family plot line is so truthful, strained and delicate that it pulls you in too. The writing is deliberate, effortless and intoxicating.
I can't say enough good things about this novel. It saddens me that it hasn't gotten more attention. It's about growing as a person, Independence, love and loss - it's about the real teen experience. It's this good - “I looked down at Tycho's painting and I thought: Is this me? Has all my goodness vanished within a week? Good … bad … I decided they were baby words. Meaningless …” When's the next one coming, Julie?
Format: Paperback, pages
_ _ _
Note - You can purchase copies of this book through sites listed in the Buy OZYA link at the top of the blog or through Julie for $20 which includes postage anywhere (contact her via juliegittus (at) bigpond (dot)com.)