No More Boats
Giramondo, $26.95 pb, 232 pp, 9781925336306
No More Boats is Felicity Castagna’s newest work since Small Indiscretions (2011), a collection of short stories, and her award-winning Young Adult novel, The Incredible Here and Now (2013). This versatile writer depicts a plausible community set in Sydney’s inner west in 2001 and an ageing Italian migrant, Antonio Martone, whose life is falling apart and whose crises coincide with the Australian government’s obsession with secure borders. From the book’s first pages, we sense that Martone will soon reach a point of exasperation and will act out his frustrations with a gun. His actions will coincide with the political manipulation of the MV Tampa and the attack on the Twin Towers. What leads to that moment is the heart of this story
Chapters are devoted to each of the four Martones: Antonio, his wife Rose, and their adult children, Clare and Francis. The third-person narration moves seamlessly through their interconnected lives and from past to present, involving other characters who will be instrumental in the story.