Thursday, April 7, 2011
Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago.
But when Carly meets Ryan, at a local break, she has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?
Kirsty Eagar's vivid storytelling pulled me right into the pages of this book. I could almost feel the spray of the ocean against my skin as I read. While some of the surfing terminology went right over my head, for the most part, I felt it did not take away from the general feel of the story. Carly could be the embodiment of any victim and the journey she takes to rediscover herself is a heartbreaking story. This is a book full of hope, anguish and the turmoil a rape victim can suffer, and how, with a little help, someone can pull themselves out of the emotional downward spiral. Kirsty is unafraid to delve into the feelings of guilt, shame and despair nineteen-year-old Carly suffers after that terrible night two years ago. Separated from her family after an argument, they become estranged and she moves closer to the coast where she can surf as much as she wants. Carly hides behind the waves under her surfboard, refusing to tell anyone what happened to her. She lives only for the next wave, and it is only then that she allows herself to really feel. Things become more complicated when she meets Ryan, a fellow surfer with a bit of a troubled past himself. When she is with him, she feels safe until one morning she wakes to find some other guy in their room, and she is violently tossed back to the night of her attack. She does the only thing she knows; and runs from Ryan. Ryan truly cares deeply for Carly and is not willing to let her go. Unable to hold back any longer, Carly tells Ryan of her past and then pushes him away. For weeks she hides herself away from the world until a friend gives her a little shove in the right direction. She claws her way back to the happiness she once felt surfing, and realizes that a life without Ryan is not one she wants to live.