Grace Cain loves diving, and is in Sydney completing her degree so she can make a career beneath the ocean. But when she meets Storm Hisray, world-famous freediver, her world is rocked. She has never met anyone like him. He convinces Grace to follow him back to his home on an idyllic Pacific island. There life seems perfect, and soon Storm is teaching Grace to dive like him, alongside him. They will be a freediving couple.
But as Storm pushes Grace to dive deeper, push herself further, cracks start to appear. Is it Grace who matters to Storm, or being the best, being noticed? Grace becomes increasingly aware that she is deeper water than she could have ever imagined.
Storm and Grace is a haunting novel. The reader is drawn into the beauty and the terror of freediving – and of life with a charismatic man who will stop at nothing to manipulate those around him. The voices of other women, other victims, of Storm and men like him, narrate parts of the novel, so that the reader sees the danger long before Grace, an unusual technique which keeps pages turning.
Beautiful yet terrifying, this is a remarkable novel.
Storm and Grace, by Kathryn Hayman
Allen & Unwin, 2017
Available from good bookstores and online.