Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

This Australian gothic horror young adult fiction is enthralling. It is written from the point of view of a highly imaginative and sensitive Abbie. She mentions romantic and surrealist artists and poets throughout the novel, such as René Magritte, Dorothea Tanning, Giorgio De Chirico, Henry David Thoreau and Rupert Brooke. These artists illustrate how she perceives ordinary objects in unusual and surreal ways, and these references give depth to the beautifully strange circumstances she finds herself in. “The girl who is my reflection smiles, everything about her shining with risk. She says, ‘The question is, do you want to go for a ride?’ Then she is gone. And I’m suddenly in a room that’s the mirror image of mine – everything back to front – and standing in front of me is a carousel horse waiting for me. Of course, I look at the mirror, trying to find my reflection again. But all I see is the back view of me standing before the horse, like in a painting by Magritte, Not to be Reproduced.” Australian surfing culture is also peppered throughout the novel. The reader does not know if Abbie is experiencing her subconscious thoughts or some supernatural interference. Abbie’s obsession with Kane, her relative who lives downstairs and the intense way she experiences the world makes her feel alive. The shadow is there, though, and although the world sees Abbie as weird, the horror becomes very real.

A new edition will be available 21.11.2021

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