Salt Story had a really good book review in the UWA mag Uniview recently. It's in the back pages where the trajectories of university graduates come to rest, for the moment. As someone wrote to the magazine, it's also the first place where other graduates go to see who is doing what. I agree.
So here it is ... or bits of it:
Reviewers are unanimous that UWA graduate Sarah Drummond has produced a heart-felt book that sweeps readers into a community of professional South West fishermen who battle storms - natural and political - and struggle to make a living in changing times.
"It's a lovely read," concluded The West Australian. "There are times you can almost feel the small boat bumping against waves and taste the salt spray as they lurch about in storms, navigate netting politics and haul in their catch."
Salt Story: of sea-dogs and fisherwomen (Fremantle Press) is Sarah's first book and it's a tribute to the inshore and estuarine commercial fishing industry and a fading way of life that, as one reviewer put it, "is under threat, dying of a thousand government cuts."
The author admits that as a wayward teen she was drawn to the jetties and beaches and to the lot of fishermen, yachties and truckies whose 'purposeful shiftlessness and nomadism raised a middle finger to the myth of the Great Australian Suburban Dream.'
Interesting that bit ... the author admits. Of course any Australian teenage girl looking for mayhem, meaning and adventure will be beckoned by seafarers and artists, roadhouses and jetties.
I'm leery of the words 'admits' or 'admission' in this context, because it reminds me that society demands that women rescind or regret their earlier wild child experiences, and at the same time it strives to censure those brave, girly new worlders of the next gen - to make sure they behave themselves.
Anyhoo, that is another thesis or book. In the meantime, this is one of the nicest reviews of Salt Story that I've read, and particularly because it comes from my peers, from the uni where I found my feet as an academic and a writer. Plus the reviewer mentioned that Salt Story had sold out in two months and that a reprint is already in the bookstores. Which was very cool.