The Beach Caves
Scribe, $29.99 pb, 336 pp
At the heart of Trevor Shearston’s latest novel, The Beach Caves, is the act of digging. The protagonist, Annette Cooley, is a young archaeology student, thrilled by the allure of her Honours supervisor’s most recent find: the stone remains of an Aboriginal village on the New South Wales south coast that could rewrite the pre-European history of Australia. Intriguing additional sites are soon discovered, but before long the air of excitement is replaced by one of suspicion, jealousy, and dread when a member of the dig team disappears.
Told in two parts – the first set in the early 1970s, the second in the mid-2000s – The Beach Caves examines the impact that young relationships and instinctive reactions can have on the course of a life.