Monday, 13 February 2012

Book Review: Beyond The Break by Sandra Hall

Beyond The Break tells the story of two lifelong friends - Steph and Annie - who grew up in the Sydney suburb of Coogee in the 1950s, but are both now living in America. The sudden death of Annie prompts Steph to return to Australia, to try and come to terms with the tragedy. Once back home she renews her relationship with the man both women once loved and finds that uncovering the past brings up a whole new set of issues.

The story is divided into two parts – the 1950s and the 1980s – and both are captured exceptionally well. Although I personally have only lived through the eighties, I’ve heard enough about the fifties to know the author has recreated that era with great accuracy. The city of Sydney is also brought to life vividly, evoking the beach culture and summer life with enough clarity that you feel you are right there.

The themes of the book are friendship, teen angst, love and betrayal. It also illustrates the point that while past events can be buried deep within, they will almost always surface again somewhere, needing to be re-examined and resolved in some way.
Beyond the Break also examines the often troubling relationships that can exist between mothers and daughters, including emotional and physical abuse that can have a lasting impact on the adults we become.

While there is nothing particularly uncommon about the issues revealed, the story was interesting enough to keep me engaged and pondering just what had transpired between the two friends. Because the story is clearly divided into two parts, there wasn’t any difficulty in knowing when each part of the storyline was focussed on.

Beyond the Break is an engaging, enjoyable read.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Lizzy, I've never heard of this book but will look out for it.