Book Review: Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett

Sunday, November 22, 2015
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Rush Oh!
Author: Shirley Barrett
Publication Date: September 1st 2015

Synopsis: "When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.
It's a season marked not only by the sparsity of whales and the vagaries of weather, but also by the arrival of John Beck, an itinerant whale man with a murky past, on whom Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush. But hers is not the only romance to blossom amidst the blubber...
Swinging from Mary's hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is a celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history, when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of frisky Killer whales - and in particular, a Killer whale named Tom."

My thoughts: I was drawn to this one by the front cover, I will admit, and also by the desire to learn a little more about whaling so I could understand why it is so desirable to this day in places like Japan. And I have to admit I enjoyed the parts of this book that mentioned the strange alliance with the Killer whales, as it sounded like the Killers were an odd ally to have - and especially playful at times.

However, I just couldn't get into this book. The characters felt kind of flat to me, and I found myself often thinking of other things whilst I was reading this book. The chapters seemed to have very little rhyme or reason to them, and I found myself just looking forward to the next little drawing to break up each part. 

Having said that, though, I do think the writing was good, and it may be interesting to other readers. But I just found myself a little bit bored, and that killed my ability to read this quite quickly. Mary is an odd character, and her infatuation is very quickly apparent, and yet I still didn't feel that I empathised with her crush or her life in general - perhaps because it is so different from my own.

Sometimes you read something and you just don't mesh well with it for whatever reason - I am struggling to find the main reason here. My rating here reflects my own thoughts, but I think it is worth going to goodreads and checking out other people's thoughts if you would like to read this (or perhaps just jumping in without other people's opinions cluttering up your thought process!).

I received a review copy of this book through the Dymocks Gold Booklovers program.

You would like this book if: you want a bit of history of whaling in Australia.

Tea to drink while reading this book: Traditional Aussie Billy tea would be best, I think!

Rating:  4/10

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