When the Night Comes
Hachette, $27.99 pb, 265 pp
Favel Parrett’s second novel, When the Night Comes, opens with its teenage protagonist Isla lying awake in her bunk on a night ferry to Tasmania in the mid-1980s, ‘waiting for the rough seas’. Her younger brother sleeps beside her, and her distracted, emotionally distant mother – the kind of woman who is ‘always sitting places by herself in the night’ – is smoking on deck. Together, the three are weathering the roiling overnight passage in order to escape a violent past and make a new life in Hobart. The rough seas the novel goes on to navigate are, as one might expect, both literal and metaphorical.