When the Night Comes is a story of loss and absences—missing fathers, a mother that is barely there, sailors and a ship that comes and goes…
Favel Parrett writes beautifully evocative passages that take me right into the confused heart of a lonely teenage girl who is longing to be somewhere that footsteps don’t echo down empty streets.
There is a second voice as well and I must admit that it took me a while to figure out who it belonged to. Then I had to reread those passages to fully grasp their meaning. Bo had also lost his father and in his own search he became a pseudo-father figure for Isla. The boat Nella Dan brought them together but it also pulled them apart again and both ended up just as alone as they did at the beginning of the novel. Along the way they shared lollies, walks down to the docks and stories of Nella Dan.
But at the end of it I was still left with the sadness that life doesn’t have happy endings. We are always being torn apart from the people we love. It is finding joy in the ordinary that keeps us going.