It isn’t one but Favel Parrett’s second novel, When the Night Comes, is like a poem. Vignettes – of walnuts, ice, red-hulled ships, freshly-cut grass and cold classrooms – are stitched together with Parrett’s tremendously lovely words.
“Icebergs lined up for all of time, blue and brilliant white taking up the whole scene. Every blue that there is – that exists. One million shades of blue – and white. The scale of it all measured against me, one man standing here. Just one man, small and breathless.”
Parrett understands lots of things very deeply – water, the difference a teacher makes, the effect of a well-timed bag of mixed lollies, silence – and talks of these things in words that are deceptively simple. The story is compact. A chapter about a wooden spoon and rainy days brought tears to my eyes.
“Just my thoughts. My thoughts and the cold. How long a minute can be. The long loneliness of a minute.”
“In the middle of Physics, Mr Wilkins started to cry. No one spoke or moved. There was just the sound of Bunsen burners, the hot hissing of them as we all sat there in our white lab coats.”
Please ignore the fact that I’ve told you nothing about the actual story – just read it.
I received my copy of When the Night Comes from the publisher, Hachette Australia, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
4/5 I’m just wondering why it is that I haven’t read Parrett’s debut (which is sitting on my shelf!)… *hurries off to retrieve Past the Shallows*
Bo makes a chocolate, cherry and hazelnut cake. He describes it to Isla –
“‘It’s like being in the forest in the winter when the trees go to sleep, when the light isn’t so bright and the river begins to freeze, then the snow is coming more and more, and everyone has their Christmas lights in the windows night and day, shining out, and you can smell spices in the air from all the special Christmas baking.’ And I could taste it – the dark rich earth of the forest filled with rabbits and deer, snow gently falling. Another time – another place. A fairytale.”
Is that not the best description of a cake ever written? Black Forest Cake is my favourite and I do like the look of this one by The Good Soup, with its chewy, meringue-like sponge layers – alas, no recipe but lots of inspiration.