Robert Drewe, Author:
I enjoyed "Into the Sea" very much. It was so evocative I felt I was there with Riley and Billie. It brims with true experience and descriptive energy. A great first novel and I look forward to reading Jay’s next offering, (Sept 2014).
William Yeoman, Books Editor & Senior Arts Writer, The West Australian, Nov 2013
As kids, Will and Riley live by the ocean and love to surf. When a fire erupts during a heatwave, their lives change forever. As young men, they later share a soul-searching road trip across the desert, an outcome of which is Will's disappearing into the tropical islands of Indonesia. Margaret River resident Jay Laurie's part coming-of-age, part buddy road trip novel, inspired by the author's own visits to some of the remoter parts of Indonesia, will be a delight for anyone who loves surfing, travel or rich evocative writing reminiscent of Tim Winton and Robert Drewe.
Emily Paull, elimy.blogspot.com.au, June 2013
I love Tim Winton, I love Robert Drewe and once upon a time I kidded myself that I would be able to learn to surf even though sometimes I lose my balance just by walking... Reading Into the Sea is like fusing your own childhood memories with someone else's and claiming them. As the blurb says, it is vivid, raw and evocative... The novel is vivid because Laurie's attention to detail takes you there, takes you to the dunes, to the desert and to Indonesia. It's raw because sometimes things happen that aren't so nice and maybe you don't want to think about. It's evocative because you can smell the Streets Cornetto dripping on your sunscreen that first summer you were allowed to swim by yourself.
The real strength of this novel lies in the big ideas it is trying to get across... From the way that surfing can be linked to a kind of death-wish recklessness, to the way that human passion and connection is as fluid as the ocean, to the value of friendship and the beauty of just dropping out of society. This novel is deep.
My favourite part of the book is the final part in which Riley goes to Indonesia after Will disappears. This section of the book almost had a Heart Of Darkness quality to it and the reader was with Riley as he travelled deeper into the jungle, not knowing what, if anything he would find....
I absolutely inhaled this novel, read it in a few days on lunch breaks and in the car before work. The writer in me wanted to restructure it but the reader in me enjoyed sitting back and letting Laurie's prose wash over me and take me on a trip down memory lane. I'm desperate to go back to Indonesia now. And maybe to learn to actually stand up on a surfboard.
Your book is brilliant! Not only is the story rivetting, your gift for expression is truly remarkable. You have captured the soul of surfing. The search, the adventure, the danger and the point of it all - the bliss. Chris M, Sydney
From raiding the fridge after hours in the surf to freezing footy training sessions Jay has perfectly captured growing up as a surfer in Australia. I could taste the salt and zinc, feel the sunburn and sore muscles and was repeatedly reminded why I love surfing. Reading into the Sea filled me full of nostalgia I didn't know I had and a desire to travel I thought I'd lost. Well done Jay. Jono C, Hollow Surf Shop, WA
I have just finished your wonderful book while on holidays in WA and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have lived in inland Victoria all my life but your writing enabled me to visualise your story in great detail. Thank you. RVR, Vic
Hi Jay I just finished your book and wanted to let you know that it would have to be one of the most enjoyable reads I have experienced in a long time - the story is simple but beautiful and the characters draw you in. There definitely appears to be a hint of Tim Winton in your writing but much more peaceful. I think anyone reading this will have a hard time putting it down - look forward to your next book. SB, WA
Great read, thought I was reading Tim Winton. Bob McTavish, Byron Bay.
Hi Jay, I met you at Triggs last Winter with my friend Peter from Swellsup.com. I have never read a book that I could relate so well as Into the Sea as I grew up addicted to surfing. The later parts of the book I can relate to more in a dream-like sense. Great characters and I have often imagined an existence like that of Will's. By coincidence I was reading the book whilst travelling ...I have a couple of photos of me holding your book near a place that I am sure that part of your book is based on. I would be happy to email you those photos. FN, WA.
Great book Jay. Took me away from busy work focussed life, transplanted me back in my own childhood memories and reminded me of how the simple things and living in the moment provides a rich, raw and envious existence. ML, WA
Just finished reading - epic read - the best surfing novel I've read for sure!! Love the SA part. BP, WA
Just finished reading this book whilst on holidays in Cocos. Really loved it. Could relate to a lot of it, found it suspensful too, wanting to see what was going to happen. Look forward to your next one. LC, WA
A salty delicious tale about the thrill of learning to surf and how this can change your life forever. Into the Sea takes you on a journey to beaches and towns in far away places and reminds you that life can be as simple as you want to make it. CR, WA
Fabulous book.I have sent a few copies to friends overseas and am recommending to all my coast loving mates. GB, WA
Love your book Jay, couldn't put it down. Keep up the great work. CJ, WA
Bought your book at a beachside cafe in Perth, read it on the plane home to Tasmania. Really enjoyed it, an easy well written read. I could picture the scenes due to your great descriptions and almost felt I was there with the characters. LE, Tas
Just finished. Really enjoyed the journey Jay... a simple tale told well... reminded me of a French film in attention to detail and subtlety... and a very familiar one for me. As a SA surfer who has had a French beau and travelled through Sumatra I really resonated and was able to immerse myself in the locations, surf sessions and languages like a warm bath. Riley's boat journey between islands so took me back to one particularly harrowing trip we had between Muala Siberut and Tuapajet and a storm rolled through... that moment when you realise there are no life-jackets or life buoys on board was sickening... but we made it, thanks to captain and crew. Again... well done. NB, SA
Thanks for signing the book, just finished it, hard to put down, really enjoyed it! Might see you round at the local surf. CvV, WA
Just finished reading it ... absolutely loved it! Didn't want it to end. Purchased from Blue Ginger, go grab one! TS, WA
I love the book Jay! So magical and such a pleasure to read, I hope you write more. CB, WA
I loved this book which tells of the lure of the ocean and the search for the perfect wave through friendship, travel, life's challenges and triumphs and the healing power of salt water and its surrounds. I loved the detailed descriptions throughout but especially the early days of the surf mat and single fin Cordingleys treasured first board... and the overseas travelling tales. If this rings bells then you will enjoy the immersion of youthful past era of long days at the beach driven by the waves and the wind and the special friendships shared around that time of your life. EB, WA