Deep Water

One of 4 novellas in the collection, Love and Desire, edited by Cate Kennedy


“…sure-footed economy that never sounds rushed, beautifully paced as it builds its portrait of a 1960s bog-Irish family living in suburban Australia. O’Reilly selects scenes with delectable precision. It’s high praise, but her technique is reminiscent of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, where the young narrator’s understanding runs apace with our own, creating a shared appreciation of the sadness and small hopes in ordinary lives.”
Rosemary Sorenson The Australian

“…Paddy O’Reilly brings the most experience to the book with a novel and soon-to-be-released collection of short stories The End of the World … under her belt. Her novella ‘Deep Water’ is a gem: the story of a big, unruly family whose life is thrown off-kilter by the death of the mother. … Fans of Tim Winton and David Malouf’s short story collections would do well to give these newcomers a try.”
Bookseller and Publisher

“A series of vignettes set in a Melbourne suburb in the early 1970s, ‘Deep Water’ is the story of Annie, her parents, grandparents and six siblings as they deal with the wonder, the unpredictability and the ultimate fragility of everyday life. Within each scene – each virtually its own self-contained story – there is an evocation of Australian suburban life in the ’70s that is both vivid and real, and which many a reader will recognise. Taken together, the scenes work impressionistically, building an overall effect that is at once warm and yet sombre, and creating a mood that stays with the reader long after the last line has been read.”
The Canberra Times