About the book | What people are saying | About the author | Sample chapter | Reading copy giveaway
About the book
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 years on the road following his incarceration. Tommy is seeking answers that will cut to the heart of who Ernie, Lily and Girlie really are.
Inspired by the author’s own family history, The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge is a haunting, memorable and moving tale of one family’s search for belonging. Kali Napier breathes a fever-pitch intensity into the story of these emotionally fragile characters as their secrets are revealed with tragic consequences. If you loved The Light Between Oceans and The Woolgrower’s Companion you will love this story.
What people are saying about The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge
‘One of the best books I’ve read this year. I absolutely loved it. Totally gripping, beautifully written, the characterisation is superb. An absolutely stunning book. I am still thinking about it.’—Melissa Ashley, author of The Birdman’s Wife
‘An engaging mystery while also being an absorbing tale of family secrets, lies, betrayal and sacrifice. The story brims with authenticity that comes from painstaking research. The gradual release of information about the family combines to create a level of suspense that is sustained and that kept me guessing until the very end. I found it difficult to put down. The author knows how to keep a secret, how to pass on a secret and how—and when—to divulge a secret.’—Cass Moriarty, author of The Promise Seed
‘The book covers many themes, including the devastating aftermath of war, the importance of family, and racism in early twentieth century Australia. The characters are flawed but likeable, and beg the question: How much can people really change?’—Louise Allan, author of The Sisters’ Song
‘A story layered with all the hallmarks that make for an Australian classic. I loved this incredible novel. I enjoyed every beautifully evocative sentence … I didn’t want it to end.’—Theresa Smith, Australian Women Writers Challenge
‘Paints a vivid picture of post-WWI Australia … The secrets multiply as the story progresses … an absorbing historical piece that also delves deeply into the emotional lives of its flawed and fascinating characters.’—Gail Cleare, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Taste of Air
About the author
Kali Napier worked in Bangladesh as an anthropologist on gender programs before working as an Aboriginal family history researcher for the Queensland government and as a Native Title anthropologist in the Mid-West of Western Australia, the setting for The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge. The novel was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award as was her first manuscript—also a finalist in the QWC Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. Kali is currently an MPhil candidate in creative writing at the University of Queensland. The character of Ernie in The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge is based on her great-grandfather, who settled briefly in Dongara during the Depression. Kali now lives in Queensland with her two children.
Download an extract of The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge here.
Reading copy giveaway
For your chance to receive one of five advance reading copies of The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge B+P PROOF GIVEAWAY’ in the subject line and the first five people to respond will receive a copy.