When the Night Comes: Book summary and reviews of When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett

When the Night Comes

by Favel Parrett

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett X
When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2015
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Past the Shallows comes a remarkable new novel that weaves together the lives of a young girl from Tasmania and a sailor in search of meaning, whose brief encounter leaves a lasting impact on both.

Isla is a lonely girl who moves to Hobart with her mother and brother to try and better their lives. It's not really working until they meet Bo, a crewman on an Antarctic supply ship, the Nella Dan, who shares stories about his adventures with them - his travels, bird watching, home in Denmark, and life on board the ship. Isla is struggling to learn what truly matters and who to trust; and this modern Viking is searching to understand his past and find a place in this world for himself. Though their time together is short, it's enough to change the course of both their lives. And what they give each other might mean they can both eventually find their way home.

Praised for writing that is "vivid and distinct" (Library Journal, starred review) and "exquisite in its simplicity and eloquence" (Kirkus Reviews), Favel Parrett delivers a stunningly beautiful novel about the bond forged between two unlikely and unforgettable strangers.

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Some of the recent comments posted about When the Night Comes:

Author Q&A
What inspired you to write this story? By the way, I loved it!! I look forward to reading more of your writings... - cookie1135

Did you find parallels between Bo's relationship with his father and Isla's with her mother?
I, too, found the parallel to be one of absence. Bo's father was frequently physically absent, away at sea, and Isla's mother was emotionally unavailable to her children. - deeh

Guilt and death
guilt and death - the loss of the father figure continues on into adulthood and leaves sad memories of words unsaid and things unfinished - GeriB

How did Isla's environment compare to Bo's?
I find this difficult to answer. I had not considered this. Isla was without a home for awhile and Bo had no home, other than the Nella Dan. I get the feeling that Isla did have a better home before the divorce. The author does not tell us what ... - nancyh

If you've read Parret's Past the Shallows, how does it compare? What other books would you compare to When The Night Comes?
This book has absolutely captivated me. At first, I didn't like it at all - it felt too disjointed and short-story-like, too poetic - but it really grew on me. The author's ability to draw one stunning scene after another won me over, and I think ... - kimk

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Readers will be caught up with Isla and Bo's lives as well as the Nella Dan and her world. A powerful work that is sure to stay with readers long after the last page." - Booklist

"Parrett's sometimes melancholy, always heartfelt novel is written in clean, straightforward prose that, in its understated way, successfully captures the moments and moods that constitute her spare but memorable story." – Booklist

"A soulful fictional homage to a beloved Antarctic vessel, from Australian author Parrett (Past the Shallows, 2014)." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Kyrsten

beautiful adventure
From the very first sentence I was captivated by the sweet rhythm of the words that easily flowed together inviting me in for a long and wonderful adventure. Everything is described so well I found myself taking in and enjoying the sound of rushing rain and the crashing sound of waves, the delicious scent of food baking and the wonderful sweet smell of blooming flowers. I was no longer in my room reading, I had dived into their world, the interesting and far off world of the characters.sometimes I felt as though I might fall asleep to the lovely, poetically written words of Favel Parrett. This is an exceptional novel.

pamelathereader

unique setting!
Really enjoyed this unique story set against the background of the bright red ice breaker ship "Nella Dan", which traveled between Tasmania and Antarctica. Isla, a young girl ill-cared for by her mother, and Bo, a Danish shipmate from the Nella, strike up a friendship. Isla's world expands - but that may not be an all together good thing. Beautifully expressed and evocative, I'll think about this book for a long time.

Harriet

Lovely read
I enjoyed the gentle pace and the sense of peace the book seemed to present. It doesn't give unnecessary information about the characters or place.

Gloria

Wanted more
Favel Parrett’s “When The Night Comes” is a pleasant enough read, but it could have been a great one.

As I was reading, I kept thinking, “This reads like a collection of essays.” So I was not surprised to discover in the Author’s Note that a number of pieces within the novel had been published as short stories.

Many authors have successfully turned short stories into novels. Louise Erdrich comes to mind. Parrett’s novel has good bones. She just didn’t flesh out the characters enough for me.

“When The Night Comes” is about a young girl, Isla, who moves to an island with her divorced mother and brother. She develops a deep kinship with Bo, a cook aboard the Nella Dan, an Antarctic supply ship, who is also her mother’s boyfriend.

Readers get to know Isla and Bo well, but the other characters are too one dimensional. We learn very little about Isla’s mother or what happened to her parent’s relationship beyond a thrown plate of beef stew. We don’t know how her mother met Bo or why their relationship ended. I had more questions than I had answers. Time for a prequel?

We get a more complete look at the Nella Dan and its crew. It is these stories of life aboard ship, its pleasures, dangers and tragedies, that Bo tells Isla. There are dangers in her life as well, and soon they are kindred spirits, both trying to make their way in the world as best they can. They share a short time together, but it’s enough to change them both.

Next on my reading list is Parrett’s critically acclaimed debut novel, “Past the Shallows.”

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Author Information

Favel Parrett Author Biography

Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Favel Parrett burst onto the Australian literary landscape with the heartbreaking debut Past the Shallows. She was discovered through the 2008 Hachette Australia/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and then in 2009 was a recipient of an Australian Society of Authors mentorship. Favel has had a number of short stories published in various journals including Griffith Review, Island and Wet Ink. Past the Shallows was critically acclaimed around the world and was shortlisted in the prestigious Miles Franklin Award, won the Dobbie Literary Award, and Favel herself won the ABIA Newcomer of the Year Award. Her second book is When The Night Comes (2015 in USA).

Favel has a passion for travel and loves to surf. She lives in Australia with her partner, David, and her two ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Favel Parrett's Website

Name Pronunciation
Favel Parrett: FAHV-el Parrit

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