Review Blog

Jul 24 2012

Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

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Penguin, 2012; 315 pages; p/b; rrp $19.95. ISBN 9780143206552.
(Age: 16+) Here is a novel that whets the appetite for the paranormal. Night Beach in the hands of Kirsty Eagar is thrilling. As it transitions from the normal to the paranormal, Eagar injects her 'night beach' with eerie credibility, ensuring this compelling scenario is certain to capture its adolescent readership. Night Beach contains many of the elements that fire the imagination of the modern young reader - surf, the opposite sex, cars, art and the supernatural. Eagar's knowledge of surfing glows throughout this narrative, as she creates mesmeric images of the power and awesomeness of the ocean, and its addictive hold over the surfing culture.
Kirsty Eagar's strengths are indisputably in imagery, dialogue and imaginative plot creation. It is easy to feel the fear, as seventeen year-old Abbie struggles to remain afloat in the real world; even as she is drawn into the shadowy darkness of something not quite normal.
Abbie is quickly spinning outside the safety net of family, school, art assignments and into the darkness of Kane's brutish world. Kane has just returned from a surfing trip away, but something sinister has returned with him, and only Abbie can see it. Poised on the crest of the dark and dangerous, Abbie's obsession for Kane gnaws away at her. Her obsession, and his disinterest both fuel her recklessness. She cannot understand what happened while he was away, that has resulted in the return home of a different Kane, but she is determined to find out. With her mother and stepfather away, Abbie finds herself alone in the house with Kane, who lives downstairs.
Kirsty Eagar has created a broad cast of supporting characters providing depth to the canvas of this novel. However, the reader will always want to know if Abbie gets her beau, and escapes the shadows of the 'night beach.'
This novel includes sexual references, and imaginatively portrays the dark side of the paranormal. It should interest girls in the 16+ age group.
Colleen Tuovinen

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