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Rush Oh!
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2016
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Description

An impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman's coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history of New South Wales.
1908: It's the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father's boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in the wake of their mother's death. But when the handsome John Beck — a former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious past — arrives at the Davidson's door pleading to join her father's crews, suddenly Mary's world is upended.
As her family struggles to survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them.
Swinging from Mary's own hopes and disappointments to the challenges that have beset her family's whaling operation, Rush Oh! is an enchanting blend of fact and fiction that's as much the story of its gutsy narrator's coming-of-age as it is the celebration of an extraordinary episode in history.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/22/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316343848, 9780316261524
ASIN:
B0112T4YRW

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Shirley Barrett. (2016). Rush Oh! Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Shirley Barrett. 2016. Rush Oh! Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Shirley Barrett, Rush Oh! Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Shirley Barrett. Rush Oh! Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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47f3cbe9-4115-2d1c-c4f3-01e31e708a7e
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:34:30
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 18:34:30
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 09, 2024 10:31:42
Last Metadata Change:
May 05, 2024 10:18:53
Last Availability Check:
Jun 09, 2024 10:31:45
Last Availability Change:
Dec 27, 2023 08:46:58
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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OverDrive Product Record

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        Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Her film Love Serenade won the Caméra d'Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. In 2010, the script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize and the West Australian Premier's Prize. Rush Oh! is her first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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shortDescription
An impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman's coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history of New South Wales.
1908: It's the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father's boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in the wake of their mother's death. But when the handsome John Beck — a former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious past — arrives at the Davidson's door pleading to join her father's crews, suddenly Mary's world is upended.
As her family struggles to survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them.
Swinging from Mary's own hopes and...
isOwnedByCollections
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title
Rush Oh!
fullDescription
An impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman's coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history of New South Wales.
1908: It's the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father's boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in the wake of their mother's death. But when the handsome John Beck — a former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious past — arrives at the Davidson's door pleading to join her father's crews, suddenly Mary's world is upended.
As her family struggles to survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them.
Swinging from Mary's own hopes and disappointments to the challenges that have beset her family's whaling operation, Rush Oh! is an enchanting blend of fact and fiction that's as much the story of its gutsy narrator's coming-of-age as it is the celebration of an extraordinary episode in history.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 25, 2016
        In this debut novel from Australian screenwriter and director Barrett, a fictional daughter of New South Wales historic whaler George “Fearless” Davidson recounts the tumultuous events of 1908. Nineteen-year-old Mary is in charge of caring for her five motherless siblings, but also cooking for the whalers. John Beck, a former Methodist minister, joins Davidson’s crew and takes an interest in Mary. It turns out to be a disastrously poor whaling season until one late season catch when “the Killers”—cooperative orcas the Aborigines greet as reincarnated ancestors—help the men capture a 50-foot whale. Mary, writing 30 years later, pieces events together from what little she observes and the men’s reports—a device that gives her rip-roaring account a realistic touch. This same distance, however, sucks energy from the more climactic scenes. Digressive sections on rendering whale blubber into oil and Uncle Aleck taking a dip in a rotting carcass to cure rheumatism inevitably “invite comparisons with Mr. Melville that will not be flattering,” as Mary herself recognizes; but Barrett isn’t trying to be Melville. Instead, this unusual domestic look at whaling life is filled with evocative, briny descriptions, humorous set pieces, and newspaper extracts that come together nicely to create an intimate, wry story of one tumultuous year on the seas. Agent: Grace Heifetz, Curtis Brown Australia.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2016
        While Australian screenwriter Barrett bases her first novel on the story of real-life whaler George "Fearless" Davidson, George's prickly yet endearing daughter Mary is the star.Thirty years after the fact, Mary Davidson sets out to write about the season of 1908, which she sees as a turning point in New South Wales' whaling business--the beginning of the decline in the number of whales as well in demand for whale oil, as kerosene became widely available, and for whalebone, as women stopped wearing corsets. In 1908, Mary is 19 years old and running the household, which includes her three younger sisters and two brothers, for her widowed father. Her portrait of family life is drolly tart and unsentimental. Actually, so is her portrait of herself, until the day ex-Methodist minister John Beck shows up to work for Mary's father despite a complete lack of experience as a whaler. Mary is never able to piece together Beck's whole back story, and neither is the reader; maintaining the mystery of his past and his motives is a daring choice by the author, teetering as it does between provocative and irksome. Despite Mary's awkward manners, she and John begin a flirtation that threatens to become something deeper. Meanwhile, Mary's pretty and charming 16-year-old sister, Louisa, whom Mary claims to disdain for her frivolity, wards off a variety of suitors. But Louisa proves more complicated than Mary realized when she makes a shocking decision that throws the family into chaos. Mary's narrative reflects her just-the-facts-ma'am personality, and she describes the fundamentals of whaling in more depth than will interest any but the most die-hard aficionado (although the relationship between the whalers and the local killer whales, with names like Tom and Jackson, is fascinating, given what scientists have since discovered about their intelligence). But despite herself, Mary's emotions slip between the facts, particularly in small, often bittersweet asides about what's happened to various Davidsons in the years since 1908. Yes, there's a lot of whaling talk, but with a narrator reminiscent of Jo March, the sensibility here is more akin to Little Women than Moby-Dick.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2016
        Australian screenwriter and director Barrett's first novel is presented as the memoir of 49-year-old Mary Davidson. The daughter of a highly respected whaler, Mary writes of the whaling season of 1908, when she was 19 and in love with a member of her father's crew, the enigmatic John Beck, who claims to be a former Methodist minister. Mary writes evocatively of whaling as it was practiced a century ago, giving readers a firsthand look at the violent and bloody enterprise, which is helped along by a pod of killer whales who corral the whales who are the targets of Mary's father and his crew. Her mother dead, Mary, the eldest daughter, is left to manage the house and her younger siblings, including her feisty sister, Louisa. Mary is less successful at managing her heart and her unconsummated affair with John Beck, who remains a puzzle. Highly episodic, the novel as memoir is told with a degree of nostalgia and yearning that are infectious, drawing readers into the action of this absorbing historical romance.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Books+Publishing
      • content:

        June 25, 2015
        Screenwriter and director Shirley Barrett has mixed fact and fiction to tell the story of the whaling community of Eden in New South Wales in the early years of the 20th century. The narrator of Rush Oh! is Mary Davidson, eldest daughter of George ‘Fearless’ Davidson, a third-generation Master Whaler who runs two boats in the whaling season. Mary has her own dreams. She is also attracting the attention of men, in particular a new ‘chum’, a former Methodist preacher with a mysterious past. She describes the hardships facing the whalers, who row in open boats for hours, in all weathers, in pursuit of their prey. George’s territory is Twofold Bay, which is also home to a pod of Killer whales, who help the men to capture the larger whales by confining each whale in the bay until the hunters arrive. The Killers were so well known that many were given names (the most famous, Tom, helped the whalers for over 60 years; his skeleton is on display in the Eden Killer Whale Museum). The harsh life of the whalers and their struggle for survival in the difficult season of 1908 is recounted with great feeling and respect, and will resonate with readers of Australian history.

        Chris Harrington is the co-owner of Books in Print in Melbourne

popularity
48
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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bisacCodes
      • code: FIC014000
      • description: FICTION / Historical / General
      • code: FIC043000
      • description: Fiction / Coming of Age
      • code: FIC045000
      • description: Fiction / Family Life / General