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Rush Oh! Hardcover – March 22, 2016
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"Barrett writes with a warmth and humor that lift the story free of its historical sources.... A fresh and subversive take on a genre traditionally owned by male leviathans like Melville and Hemingway."―Tom Gilling, New York Times Book Review
"Irresistible.... RUSH OH! is an elegiac tale...but Mary's voice is so fresh and Ms. Barrett's sidewinding story so spry and amusing that readers will think less of endings than of the auspicious start to a novelist's career."―Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
"One of the genuinely addictive books of the season."―Meredith Turits, ELLE
"Wonderfully crisp.... [An] epic tale."―Karen Bender, O: The Oprah Magazine
"Beautiful and brutal, witty and kind, RUSH OH! is a story of great surprises and a beating heart--a book to never forget."―Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
"Vividly portrays the hunt as well as its moral ambiguities."―Editors' Choice, New York Times Book Review
"A charming coming-of-age tale."―Tom Beer, Newsday
"RUSH OH! is a masterpiece. It's human, heart-stopping, heart-warming, and hilarious, and I fell instantly, lastingly in love."―Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places and The Ice Master
"[Barrett's] vivid and visual storytelling transfers perfectly to the page."―Peter Meinertzhagen, Electric Literature
"Funny and sweet and wonderful."―Book Riot
"Moby Dick meets a grownup Anne of Green Gables.... One of the funniest books I've ever read."―Sarah Shaffi, Monocle
"[A] rip-roaring account.... filled with evocative, briny descriptions, humorous set pieces, and newspaper extracts that come together nicely to create an intimate, wry story of one tumultuous year on the seas."―Publishers Weekly
"Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to treasure like my own friends, RUSH OH! reminded me why I love reading."―Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites
"A poetic meditation on love in its many forms... RUSH OH! is terrific."―Jay Parini, author of The Last Station
"Drolly tart and unsentimental.... Prickly yet endearing Mary is the star.... With a narrator reminiscent of Jo March, the sensibility here is...akin to Little Women."―Kirkus Reviews
"A heart-warming, beautifully written story of an unusual young woman who prevails against all odds. Colorful characters and exquisite humor bring to life a near-forgotten world of hard work and modest hopes-a world we must not allow ourselves to forget. Fans of Jane Austen will love the playful energy of the book, and so will anyone looking for a unique, inspiring read. Shirley Barrett is a masterful storyteller."―Anne Fortier, author of Juliet and The Lost Sisterhood
"This is the best sort of historical fiction, as entertaining as it is illuminating."―Sharma Shields, author of The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac
"Funny and fascinating and haunting: the skeleton of the killer whale Old Tom is on exhibit in an Australian museum, but his great spirit-like that of many bygone bipedal Australians he knew-lives on in this book."―Brian Kimberling, author of Snapper
"[An] absorbing historical romance."―Michael Cart, Booklist
"Barrett is a marvel. By turns matter-of-fact and romantic, comical and historical, RUSH OH! is always utterly charming, and I know I will make repeated visits to Mary and her world."―Alison Jean Lester, author of Lillian on Life
"A lively, humorous portrayal of the domestic side of whaling at the end of its heyday, told with genuine sympathy and good will."―Lauren Bufferd, BookPage
"Mary possesses the spunk and pluck you'd find in the heroine of a 19th-century British novel of manners, and there is wit enough to get this story told with humanity and humor even while the odds are stacked against her."―Steven Nester, January Magazine
About the Author
Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Her film Love Serenade won the Caméra d'Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. In 2010, the script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize and the West Australian Premier's Prize. Rush Oh! is her first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
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Top Customer Reviews
by Shirley Barrett
This delightful story recreates the whaling days in Eden NSW about 1908 narrated by Mary Davidson eldest daughter of a local whaling family. Along with Mary’s family and the whaling crew there is the pack of Killer whales led by sixty year-old Tom. In amazing cooperation between man and Killer whales, there was no more welcome sound than the resounding “smack!” as Tom’s mighty tail crashed down upon the water causing the whalers to cry “Rush oh!” and run to the whaleboats to row to the spot where Tom and the Killer whale pack had corralled the target whale migrating along the Australian coast.
The lives, loves, and dangers of this way of life and economic existence of the local families and whalers in Eden are narrated. This is a romantic, easy-to-read, pleasant novel about days that will never return.
Author Shirley Barrett has endeavoured to be as truthful as possible in describing the Killer whales researched from local Eden newspapers of the time in the archives of the State Library of NSW. As fiction, she allows a few liberties about the family of her father George ‘Fearless’ Davidson Master Whaler born in 1863 in Eden. The result is an historical delight complete with sketches and an old poem.
A story lost forever unless we pass it on to our children.
1 November 2015
At that time. Also reminds the reality of
The cruelty and brutality of whaling.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For a book about the whaling industry in Eden at the turn of the nineteenth century, Rush Oh! is refreshingly charming.Read more