DARKWATER is a novel about a fifteen year old girl named Winter, who lives in a small Sydney town in the 1970’s with her mother Dee, father Tom and brother Joe. When one of Joe’s friends is found dead, the news spreads wide and fast, and soon enough people start pointing fingers. Most of them point to one of Amanda’s school friends, Lyndon. Winter finds herself not wanting to believe that it was Lyndon who murdered Amanda, and soon enough she finds herself caught up in the investigation, entangled in its messy web of lies, deceit and gossip, just as I was before I’d even finished the first chapter.
When I first picked up the novel, DARKWATER, my impression was that it would be a sombre, gruesome murder mystery. But as I turned pages, I found that it was not as morbid as I first thought. Scattered among the rumours and the theories of “whodunit” are anecdotes about life in the 1970’s – Winter’s mother making a stand against development, learning to skateboard, the daily events and activities of Winter and her friends, and even a subplot about a certain boy Winter has her eye on. These provide some relief from the darker side of the book.
The suspense in this novel makes it truly compelling. I found myself turning page after page, dissecting every clue and theory to make my own guess at who had murdered Amanda Clarke, and before I knew it, time had escaped me. The descriptive passages paint vivid images of a sleepy town in the 1970’s, which adds to the effect that you are pulled into the story.
All in all, a very compelling novel which keeps readers turning pages and forming theories, and then leaving them with an unexpected ending when all of the sub-plots intertwine.
The Little Bookroom opened its doors to the public on Friday the 13th October, 1960, the first bookstore in Australia to stock only children's books.
The shop is named for a collection of stories by Eleanor Farjeon who wrote "I am proud and happy to know you've chosen the title of my book for the title of your Bookshop in the City my Father first set foot in the 1850s when he emigrated to Australia as a boy of 16. The stories he told me of his arrival in Melbourne have always made it seem to be one of 'my' cities. Thankyou for giving me a home in it".
The Little Bookroom's logo also comes from its award-winning namesake - it is a treasured example of Edward Ardizzone's ink illustration.
The Little Bookroom is now located at 759 Nicholson St with Albert’s original shelves, and has a city outpost at 5 Degraves St, Melbourne (doors opened in Feb 2011).