Blueback by Tim Winton
Publisher; Bolinda Press/Sydney/1998/Large Print Ed.
Plot; Described as a "fable for all ages", Blueback is the story of Abel Jackson, a young man who has spent his life by the sea hoping to unlock its secrets.
The only child of a widowed Mother, Abel spends his days in the sea at Longboat Bay. It is a tough life, but it is a happy one, filled with fun and adventures. Most importantly, this life includes an old and wise friend; Blueback, a large and cheeky groper who befriends the boy and his Mother.
It is this life that Abel must leave behind. He must leave it behind so that he can better understand it.
My Thoughts; This is an exceptional little read. It doesn't take long to devour this little gem but you walk away feeling more than satisfied.
To some this book is about the fight for the environment and the effects of people on that environment, a story about people learning from nature, but to me this is a story about the circle of life. It starts with a young Abel who has many fun times with an energetic and "go-getter" Mother and as the book progresses the reader watches these characters progress. We watch the Mother deteriorate and we watch Abel grow to be a man. The book then ends where it begins; a child and its parent watching Blueback fin through the water.
Maybe this is the reason why it is referred to as the "fable for all ages", because anyone, no matter age or background, can read this book and take something different from it.
This may not be Winton's most intricate or immense novel, but it is a great yarn.
I recommend this little gem to anyone, young or old, as a valuable coming-of-age tale.