One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn
Published June 1, 2016 by UQP
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: It’s 1997 and seventeen-year-old Sam is mourning the sudden loss of his mum …Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she’s dead, it’s worse than ever. With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty. Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim.
One Would Think the Deep is Claire Zorn's third novel. Set in a fictional town between Sydney and Wollongong, we meet sixteen year old Sam Hudson. His mum has just died and he turns to the family he used to know, Aunty Lorraine, and her sons, Minty and Shane.
It was easy to feel for Sam, he and his mum have always been together, and he has fond memories of time spent with his grandparents, and with Minty. But his nan went missing one year, followed by the death of his granddad, and then his mum told him the rest of the family moved away and they no longer saw them. After watching his mum die on New Year's Eve, he gets in contact with his aunt, and she reluctantly comes to Sydney to fetch him.
Sam and Minty pick up their brotherly relationship as if there was never a seven year absence between them. And while Shane is less than welcoming, Lorraine doesn't seem to be put out, as long as Sam stays out of trouble - something he'd been struggling with in Sydney, and something that continues to plague him. Sam's family situation is complicated, and also harbours a secret, something he must discover. He also has to decide whether to forgive his nan who reenters his life.
Sam is so lost and lonely, his whole life seems to have changed course. He joins Minty in the surf daily, one thing he starts to look forward to, as well as random sightings of local girl, Gretchen. He also finds solace in music, constantly listening to the radio and to tapes he's made.
This story was a beautiful ode to the Australian coast and to the 90s, I loved all the music references, they made me very nostalgic. The descriptions of Sam's time in the ocean were evocative, and it was beautiful to see him gain confidence and some purpose.
I adored the secondary characters too; Minty was a little charmer, Ruby was so beautiful and strong, and Gretchen was sweet and patient. All of them provided Sam with support, whether he was ready for it or not.
One Would Think the Deep is a sombre and moving story of loss, love, and family. Fans of Claire Zorn's writing will not be disappointed with the gorgeous Australian story.
Thank you to UQP for my review copy.
Cover designer: Astred Hicks, Design Cherry
I did a simple gradient manicure for this cover, I was going to go back and paint the ocean, but I never got around to it!
I used the following polishes: Ruby Wing Moonstone, Barry M Blue Moon, Barry M Peach Melba, Ulta 3 Spring Fling.