BOOK REVIEW: Watercolours (Adrienne Ferreira, Fourth Estate)

When Dom moves to the rural backwater of Morus, on the Lewis River, as the town’s new primary school teacher, he is unsure of his new home. When he notices that one of his pupils, Novi Lepido, is a talented artist, he feels out of his depth. Dom’s efforts to foster the boy’s talent uncover the Lepido family’s links to the local history and the landscape, stirring up hidden wells of grief and ancient history. This is Adrienne Ferreira’s first novel, and an excitingly good book. The way in which Ferreira translates her characters onto the page is disarming in its simplicity and immensely enjoyable to read. Watercolours is a collection of well-captured moments, presented in a multitude of first-person narratives. It is a refreshingly good Australian story that will appeal to readers who enjoy reading about love and the triumph of good intentions. The subject matter will suit both adult and young adult readers, and will ensure it is appreciated far and wide.

Rebecca Butterworth is a writer and ex-bookseller living in Melbourne. This review first appeared in the April issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.

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