Book Beginnings on Friday & The Friday 56

Rose City Reader hosts the Book Beginnings meme every week for those of us too tired by Friday night to write a lengthy review!

Simply share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Freda’s Voice hosts The Friday 56 meme. Friday 56 goes with Book Beginnings like cheese & crackers, ice-cream & milo or tequila & lime!

Simply go to page 56 of the book you are reading and give us a taster.

This week I’m reading ‘Montebello: A Memoir’ by Australian author Robert Drewe.

The beginning:
“It was that fabled occasion, a dark and stormy night, the sea just a blacker inked line in the distance, and I was lying in bed in the deep gloom of 3 am, singing Blueberry Hill in my Fats Domino voice.”

Page 56:
“Not so long ago, from 1954 to 1962, whale watchers were those who came to see the humpback whales being winched ashore and sliced up. Whaling was Byron Bay’s first tourism experience.”

I loved ‘Shark Net’, Drewe’s previous memoir based on his childhood in Western Australia.

His descriptions of time, place and culture were so spot on that I felt like I had lived his childhood. And of course, in one way I did. Although a decade younger than Drewe, the things he remembered, the way life was in Australia back then was the same for many of us.

I have high hopes for Montebello.

It would seem that some of this story will be set in NSW – judging by the two quotes above. And it looks like I can expect and enjoy more of his observations on the geography, the history and the culture of growing up in Australia.

In this moving sequel to The Shark Net, and with his characteristic frankness, humour and cinematic imagery, Drewe travels to the Montebellos to visit the territory that has held his imagination since childhood. He soon finds himself overtaken by memories and reflections on his own ‘islomania’. In the aftermath of both man-made and natural events that have left a permanent mark on the Australian landscape and psyche – from nuclear tests and the mining boom to shark attacks along the coast – Drewe examines how comfortable and familiar terrain can quickly become a site of danger, and how regeneration and love can emerge from chaos and loss.

Penguin Books blurb

11 thoughts on “Book Beginnings on Friday & The Friday 56

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