The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This is a debut novel? Wow. I will only assume that Kali Napier has had extensive experience in some other area of writing because The Secrets of Ocean’s Edge is an impressive piece of Australian literature.

Set in 1932, WW1 is still affecting many of its characters either physically, mentally or financially.
With the country in the grips of a depression, Ernie Hass and his family have been forced off their wheat farm in the Western Australian region of Perenjori. Ernie’s big idea is to settle in Dongarra, a small coastal town, and open up a guesthouse for tourists. Going reluctantly along for the ride is his wife, Lilly, and their daughter, with a very Aussie sounding nickname, perfect...

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This is a compelling story one that had me turning the pages, it is the story of life during the depression, in a seaside town Dongarra in Western Australia, there are so many characters in this story, men that came back from the war damaged, yes life was really hard but strength and stubbornness gets them through hardship, hurt and to a life although not perfect it is so much better after their struggles.

Ernie and Lily Hass and their daughter Girlie have had to give up their wheat farm in Perenjori the depression has hit hard, a fire causes more problems as does emus and rabbits, but ever positive Ernie moves the family to Dongarra to start a guest house and shop. Lily wants to be in...

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The Depression hit the wheat farmers in Perenjori hard. Lily and Ernie are forced to sell their wheat farm at Perenjori and move to the coastal town of Dongarra to start afresh. Although the guest house Ernie purchased is far from what she expected, Lily is excited about the prospect of mixing with the established families in Dongarra who have lived there for generations and have secure foundations. As she focuses on forming useful connections and allies, Lily is perturbed to discover that the president of the CWA in Dongarra knew some of the Perenjori CWA ladies. Fearing that gossip passed between the two groups of women may jeopardise her reputation, she works hard to establish herself...

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Set on the coast of Western Australia during the Great Depression years, this is the story of four members of a family dealing with the challenges of life during that difficult period and all the while keeping secrets, some even from themselves.

Ernie fails at a farming enterprise and takes his family to Dongarra, where he embarks on a new guesthouse venture and is convinced that “life would come good for them.” Lily is his long-suffering wife with social aspirations who tries to ingratiate herself with the “right sort” and influential members of the close-knit community. Their daughter Girlie is the sensitive child who has to try and fit into this new environment. And then there is Tommy...

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The story is set in 1932, the depression and located in Western Australian towns of Perenjori, Dongara and Geraldton. Hard times fall upon families and Ernie, his wife Lily and daughter Girlie are suffering. But more than just physical or financial suffering but the consequences of too many secrets. Secrets that eat away at many of the characters. Lies compounded upon lies, secrets becoming so tangled that the web that is weaved is suffocating!
As a debut novel I was really impressed! There were moments when I felt confused by some of the loose threads but eventually it comes together. It is a sad story of prejudice, narrow mindedness, family complications and human vulnerability with...

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Like so many other farmers in the Depression of the 1930s, Ernie and Lily Hass have to walk off their drought-affected wheat farm north of Perth. Together with their daughter, nicknamed Girlie, they decide to start again on the coast and open a guesthouse for holidaymakers. Unfortunately Ernie has no head for business and is also a bit of a philanderer. Life is a struggle without much money but Lily is determined to fit in and make friends. However, just as they are starting to make their way in their new community, Lily’s war trauma affected brother, Tommy, turns up and Lily’s carefully prepared plans start to unravel and family secrets are at danger of being exposed.

In this novel Kali...

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This was an enjoyable story set in the 1930's in a small town in WA. I like reading stories set in my home town, but I'm glad I wasn't around then. The constant worrying about what other people think and wanting to keep in with the best of society like Lily and Ernie feel they have to do in this story would have worn me down. This is a story about secrets, how everybody has them and the lengths people will go to keep them. How might life have been different for these characters had they not carried the burdens of their secrets but instead shared them with those they loved.
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It was 1932 when Ernie and Lily Hass and their ten-year-old daughter Girlie packed the last of their meagre belongings onto the cart behind Brownie and slowly headed away from their home in Perenjori, making their way into their new life in Dongarra. The wheat farm that had failed because of the Depression, the lack of support from the Government and a fire was what they were turning their backs on. Ernie was sure he could make their future better with the guesthouse they would open beside the beach in Dongarra.

Lily was desperate to climb the social ladder in her new town, but making new friends wasn’t easy. She had to be careful at what she said – her secrets needed to remain buried. But...

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Set in 1932 during the depression, this novel follows Ernie, Lily and their daughter, Girlie, who have just moved to the town of Dongarra in Western Australia for a new start. Leaving their old town of Perenjori behind them, along with financial misfortunes and bad memories. They take little with them having lost almost everything but one thing that does follow them are their secrets. Ernie has grand plans to set up a summer guesthouse but underestimates the difficulties of attempting to rebuild in a small established town. Lily attempts to align herself with the right people in the Country Women's Association, however, all her efforts may have come undone when her brother Tommy, who...

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Book blurb...

Every family has secrets that bind them together. A heart-rending story of a guesthouse keeper and his wife who attempt to start over, from devastatingly talented debut author Kali Napier.
1932. Ernie and Lily Hass, and their daughter, Girlie, have lost almost everything in the Depression; all they have keeping their small family together are their secrets. Abandoning their failing wheat farm and small-town gossip, they make a new start on the west coast of Australia where they begin to build a summer guesthouse. But forming new alliances with the locals isn't easy.
Into the Hasses' new life wanders Lily's shell-shocked brother, Tommy, after three harrowing...

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This book is set in 1932 when, after a series of financial misfortunes, Ernie and Lily Hass and their daughter Girlie escape their farm and the tiny West Australian town of Perenjori for a new start running a guest house in coastal Geraldton.
But starting again isn't easy, and Lily's attempts to climb the social ladder are thwarted by Ernie's ineptitude in business.
Holding them back, too, are their secrets, which they try to keep hidden not only from the townsfolk of Geraldton, but from each other as well. One by one, though, their secrets are revealed and it looks as if they'll lose everything again.
Added to the mix are Lily's forlorn and shell-shocked...

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The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is about how a family coped after losing everything during the depression. Ernie Hass due to wrong financial discussions during the depression uplift his wife Lilly and his daughter Girlie to Dongarra to start a new life. However, this did not happen the families problems followed them to Dongarra. The readers of The Secrets at Ocean's Edge will follow the twist and turns in the lives of Ernie, Lilly and Girlie Hass to see what happens to them.

The Secrets at Ocean's Edge is the first book I have read of Kali Napier, and I did enjoy reading it. I like Kali Napier writing style by using Multi-POV representing each chapter as a narrative of the main...

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Hachette Australia and netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

We don't always talk about and reminisce about the days before mobile phones, tv, and washing machines,  This novel takes us back to the days when women worked harder and maybe needed each other more in more ways than one.
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