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No More Boats offers an in-depth exploration of what it means to belong

Author: Becky Long
Newspaper: The Irish Times
Date: Apr 20 2019
URL: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/mark-the-30th-anniversary-of-thomas-bernhard-s-death-with-concrete-1.3850633

No More Boats chronicles a period of time bookended by two recent and seminal historical events, namely the Tampa Crisis in Australia in August 2001 and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. Told using four narrative perspectives, the novel takes place in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, a site where cultural, linguistic, national and generational experiences intersect.

Felicity Castagna’s voice is honest and uncompromising and her novel brings a focused and unflinching gaze to bear on life in contemporary Australia, engaging consistently and candidly with the country’s complex relationship with its past. Her style encourages the reader to invest in and focalise events through her characters, which are written with a humanity that is endlessly relatable. Using the intricate relationships these characters operate within, No More Boats offers even the casual reader an in-depth exploration of what it means to belong, in a universal as well as a national sense, and an intelligent discussion of what home can mean in the context of the immigrant experience.