One Would Think the Deep (2016)

ZORN, Claire


  • Moral assessment: (L-B1) Some moral difficulties
  • Public: Generic

Following the sudden death of his mother, sixteen-year-old Sam is sent to live with his Aunty Lorraine and her two sons whom he hasn’t seen in many years. Living in their shack in a small Australian coastal town, Sam is plagued by anxiety and doubt. He quickly becomes disillusioned, trapped by his past and overcome by bouts of anger. Losing the will to forge any kind of future, he drops out of school, spending his days surfing with his cousin and blocking out as much as possible. "One Would Think the Deep" is an evocative and compelling novel about the importance of identity and belonging. It is also a story about courage, as Sam is confronted with two choices, sink or swim. Sam starts a romantic relationship with a girl and there are three descriptive sensual scenes. There is a lot of swearing. As Sam comes from a very broken family, there is a lot of hurt, lies, dysfunction and escapism through alcohol or surfing. Although the book does not give a moral compass, it shows that people are not bad, but they have suffered traumas and this has led them to become complicated. R.C. (Australia, 2017)

Books menu

  • Literature
  • Thought
  • Icons
  • Others
  • Contribute

What do the moral assessments mean in relation to works of literature?

The assessments are divided into two groups, one for Literature (L) and the other for Thought (P). For Literature the assessments are as follows:

  •  L-A1: Nothing morally inappropriate.
  •  L-A2: Nothing morally inappropriate, although may be unsuitable for younger readers (e.g. because there are topics requiring a certain maturity on the part of the reader).
  •  L-B1: Some morally inappropriate content.
  •  L-B2: Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
  •  L-C1: Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
  • L-C2: Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
  •  L-C3: Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.

What do the moral assessments mean in relation to non-fiction works?

Works of Thought (P) are assessed according to the degree of knowledge required to evaluate the implications of affirmations made with respect to the Christian faith.

  • P-A1 or P-A2: These books present doctrinal matters in accordance with the teaching of the Church as set out, for example, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They avoid complicated topics and subjects not yet theologically settled. They are grouped according to whether or not they require a certain minimum of Christian formation.
    •  P-A1: General readership.
    •  P-A2: Readers with general cultural or basic Christian formation.
  • P-B1 or P-B2: To appreciate how certain topics impinge on the faith, the reader requires a good cultural formation with respect to the matters dealt with (P-B1), or even university-level studies in these areas (P-B2). In particular, these books may take for granted certain widely-held opinions opposed to the faith, even though such ideas may not be central to their argument – and can be easily detected by readers with a certain amount of formation.
    •  P-B1: Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
    •  P-B2: Readers with Christian formation and knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • P-C1, P-C2 or P-C3: Because of the implications of the topics dealt with, or the need to be aware of the reasons why some of the theories set out in the book are invalid, it is always necessary for the reader to have very good formation in the area in question, whether university-level (P-C1) or specialist (e.g. a doctorate: P-C2). Hence the assessments place emphasis on the objective content of the book, rather than on its possible readership. The P-C3 assessment is reserved for those works which set out to contradict or deny certain aspects of the faith or the teachings of the Catholic Magisterium.
    •  P-C1: Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
    •  P-C2: Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
    •  P-C3: Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.

What does the star mean ?

The star is used to recommend some of the books. Often they are classics which are part of the history of literature. We also recommend new publications and bestsellers which might be better than average for that genre or author.

What do the icons brief note and pdf means?

These icons indicate that a brief note is available supporting the assessment of the book, or that a review can be downloaded as a pdf file.

How are the assessments and the brief notes put together?

The assessments and brief notes are drawn up by one of the intellector.org coordinators after studying and weighing up the contributions and proposals received, possibly combining different opinons.

How can I contribute?

You can get involved by reviewing books (placing special emphasis on their moral contents), proposing an assessment of them, and sending them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. You can also help by: sending links to reviews of a book appearing elsewhere on the web; sending material to help those studying important works; pointing out mistakes or errata; etc.