For those of us who grew up in and around the Gold Coast, fond memories of those dollar drinks at Beach Road Nightclub and the epic gigs, such as Nirvana and The Ramones that were once had at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Playroom, still resonate. ‘1991’, a recent debut novel from Fauun, a Gold Coast author, brings those nostalgic years of mayhem, surfing, sex and drugs to light in a book you won’t be able to put down. Combining ethereal magic, romance and themes, such as domestic violence, addiction and loss, ‘1991’ is an emotional tale that brings the author’s own memories and experiences to light.
Following the tragic loss of her sister, Ash, the female protagonist, moves to the glittering Gold Coast in order to start afresh. Working as a swimwear model and on the verge of homelessness, she ends up meeting Jay, a local surfer, who lives in a dilapidated mansion on Monaco Street, a house which is also haunted by his missing ex-girlfriend, Nebraska.
It’s one of those houses we have all probably experienced, or at least, set foot in, during our lifetime – run-down, dirty, various flat mates, drugs and alcohol. Yet, as squalid as it is, it becomes a place Ash finds herself unable to leave.
Before she knows it, Ash finds herself caught in an emotionally suffocating relationship that not only isolates her from the outside world, but also strips her of every iota of self-confidence and strength. However, when Tora, a fatherly figure to the wild Jay, returns to the chaotic household after a long absence, Ash is immediately captivated by his presence and so begins a dangerous love triangle that threatens to hurt her more than she ever thought.
‘1991’ is not only an exploration of the devastating transformation of Ash, but it also delves deeply into the promises, hope and resolutions of true love that keeps the living dead alive. Full of twists and turns, as well as magic realism through the enchanting Nebraska, whose presence in the story is both unsettling and comforting, Fauun cleverly intertwines concepts and memories of those much longed-after years.
It’s also a novel that takes you back to the place the Gold Coast once was, a gritty, yet sun-drenched paradise that reeked of poverty, stale beer and a greedy lust for life that only waves and a surfboard satiated.
‘1991’ is a novel published in Paperback, Hardcover and Ebook format and is available for purchase through the publisher’s website (fauun.com) or through online book retailers such as Fishpond.com.au and Booktopia.com.au.