The Windy Season by Sam Carmody is a great debut work set in the fictionalised town of Stark in Western Australian. The story centres around Paul in the aftermath of his younger brother, Elliot, disappearing. He takes his position on a crayfish boat as a fisherman and experiences life on the rough and lonely seas. The police are too busy chasing other business to worry about a random missing person case until new evidence is found about his girlfriend's involvement in a drugs racket.
There are snippets of a simultaneous story involving the President, which don't make too much sense in the beginning but the layers are revealed as the story progresses.
The book is slow to start so you will need to persevere until it picks up the pace and gathers momentum. The chapters are small and sometimes only a page or two. Sam's writing shows talent with incredible descriptive passages.
I would have liked to have seen a better edit, as occasionally the writing could be smoother or a better word used. I do not like the way the conversations converge into the text without quotation marks. I hope this is not a modern trend in editing, as it is confusing.
Sam accurately captures the essence of a coastal life, the people and setting. He excels at conveying the wild and roughness of the Australian weather and the landscape. The characters are complex and finely drawn out.
Sam Carmody is a writer to watch out for in the future.
About the Author
Sam Carmody is a writer and award-winning musician from the mid-west town of Geraldton on the central coast of Western Australia. He is also a previous recipient of the Mary Grant Bruce Award as part of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) National Literary Awards and his short fiction and non-fiction have been published widely online and in print.
The Windy Season was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian/Vogel's literary award. Sam is currently living in Darwin lecturing in creative writing at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Higher Education.
The Windy Season by Sam Carmody is available in hardcover from your favourite bookseller.