'Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to love like my own friends, Rush Oh! reminded me why I love reading' Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites
Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in New South Wales,chronicles the particularly difficult season of 1908 - a story that is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.
Mary Davidson has got used to looking after her five siblings whilst catering for her father's boisterous whaling crew. But when John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, arrives on the doorstep wanting to join her father, Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush which upends her world...
Swinging from Mary's hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is an enchanting celebration of both Mary's unique voice and an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of frisky killer whales - led by one named Tom.
Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her most recent film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier's Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier's Prize 2010. RUSH OH! is Shirley's first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
Beautiful and brutal, witty and kind, Rush Oh! is a story of great surprises and a beating heart - a book never to forget — Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to love like my own friends, Rush Oh! reminded me why I love reading — Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites
Cinematic. The tale of a whaling family, its scope is ambitious and its heart big. You'll fall in love — Marie Claire (Australia)
A memorable, often heart-in-mouth debut that's brought to life by Mary's humour, her self-awareness and her accompanying illustrations — Daily Mail
A rollicking seaborne ride . . . humorous, imaginative and tender, you'll want to race through Rush Oh! to find out what happens — Independent
Fresh, funny and lively — Express
Rush Oh!'s strengths are manifold. It's a nostalgic, quirky book - peppered with stunning illustrations and seamless inclusion of actual newspaper excerpts from the time - that really captures an intriguing moment in Australia's past. Expertly balancing light and dark, Barrett confronts the moral complexities of whaling while simultaneously sketching a range of hilarious character portraits, and maintaining an endearing, and often challenging, narrative voice. This novel is a fairytale for adults, which I found poignant, funny and original — Canberra Weekly
This beautifully written Australian novel narrated by whaler's daughter Mary Davidson is funny, quirky and features a cast of characters that includes a pod of Killers. A charming debut — Diva
A novel that is thick with briny flavour. Best of all are the descriptions of the whale hunts, which are steeped in a luxurious, bracing horror — Metro
While depicting the danger, adrenaline and excitement of the boat chases, [Rush Oh!] also repeatedly celebrates the beauty of these magnificent creatures, mourning the cruelty involved in hunting and killing them — West Australian
Just the ticket, particularly if you like a bit of comedy with your mammal spearing action — Esquire