Between the Fields
by Boby Beavers
Xlibris AU

"To those born of the sea, the sound of waves breaking would always be friendly."

Alexander Scott is described by the narrator as a “hero to some, disappointment to others.” Through the course of this story set in Australia, Alex will struggle to fit in with his blended stepfamily and will find love among friends and, ultimately, a soulmate. Love and friendship will unfold against the backdrop of the ocean and the surf culture of Australia. Tragedy will mar the story’s idyllic romance as Alex settles in with the love of his life, Julianne. This is a book about finding your tribe of people when family life falters in its attempts to keep you and nurture you into adulthood. It is also about finding oneself apart from your family. Alex is fearless out in the world looking for the things that make him happy. This character study is full of insights and ruminations about memory, love, family, identity, friendship, and community.

Beavers writes with a philosopher’s touch as Alex and his friends ponder waves and nature, love and loss, responsibility and passion. The author’s decision to follow the Spanish literary convention of using dashes to introduce dialogue and to omit speakers’ names may seem unusual for readers used to the common standard for books written in English. Stylistically, though, this choice does allow for a certain flow and rhythm, but keeping track of which character is speaking may prove challenging at times for some. However, Beavers successfully creates a strong sense of place with poetic descriptions of nature and the Australian coast. The trajectory of Alex’s life also feels authentic and fully realized as he navigates a challenging family life and burgeoning romance. The conflict he feels captures the universal angst that stirs inside so many as they seek individuality and independence.

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