The Idea of Perfection
Harley Savage is a plain woman, a part-time museum curator and quilting expert with three failed marriages and a heart condition. Douglas Cheeseman is a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, one marriage gone sour, and a crippling lack of physical courage. They meet in the little Australian town of Karakarook, where Harley has arrived to help the town build a heritage...more
This Australian winner of Britain's Orange Prize tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a chronically shy engineer, and Harley Savage, a museum curator who's been having a bad hair day since she was 12. ...more
I found Kate Grenville's use of italics a bit irritating, but her descriptive writing is lovely:
"The dawn air wa ...more
I understand that Kate Grenville was encouraged to write something 'lighter' after the very dark novels, Lilian's Story and Dark Places. Since this was written light and dark have continued to be strong themes in her writing.
Harley Savage comes to the rural town of Karakarook to help the locals establish a heritage museum. But what the locals see as heritage differs from what Harley sees and wants. She is after the 'old stuff that most peo ...more
I'd read Kate Grenville before, but liked this one even better than the other I'd read.
Set in the little town of Karakarook, New South Wales, this follows three characters: two visitors and one who lives there.
Douglas Cheeseman is an unprepossessing middle-aged man who is in town as th ...more
Ms. Grenville again makes you actually feel the heat, the dryness, ...more
It was quite slow-paced, but with a great turn of phrase. I have recently whinged about several books just being too slow for me while I’m impatiently waiting for something to happen, and this book should have made me feel like that. And yet…
I hate it when authors don’t indicate speech using quotation marks. Why do we have quotation marks if people aren’t going to use them? It wasn’t until page 62 I realised that there were no quota ...more
Enter divorcee Douglas Cheeseman, engineer from the Lands Office, in town to tear down the old bridge and start construction of the replacement. A self-co ...more
A slower burner of a book. It took about half way through to get going in terms of the plot, but events were less important in my enjoyment than the development of the characters and the slow immersion into the life of the Australian outback town in which the book was set. the characters were very well drawn, making it almost uncomfortable reading as their self-consciousness and inner turmoils were slowly ...more
Anyway, since this book was originally "meant" for women her age, I don't know what to expect after I picked it up from her shelf. The title itself was interesting enough. But the story. Well, that's a different topic.
The book was basically about these two socially-awkward ...more
This novel was for me an introduction to the writing of Australian writer Kate Grenville. It was passed on to me by an Australian Bookcrossing friend, while she was visiting Italy last year and I have been looking forward to reading it since then. I am really glad that she warned me that the characters in this novel are not typical Australians, as they are certainly a strange collection of eccentrics!
In my opinion it took the first two thirds of the book f ...more
Her story is set is a small rural town called Karakarook. Sadly the economic woes that are common to most small farming towns are making the future of Karakarook very dismal. Even the expert advice sought in desperation from the “big city” experts comes in the form of a big-eared tongue tied engineer with vertigo and a large shapeless woman claiming to represent the historical and creative arts sectors. B ...more
Here is a first sight of the town:
'Over the top of the corrugated roof next door, he cou ...more
It sounds very unlikely as a good read, but it really is! It isn't one of those books that you immediately love and can't put down, but it grows on you until you realise you need to finish it!
the detail of small town Australia
the way in which the description of the climate, weather, surroundings etc really come to life.
linked to the previous point, ...more
So many authors think they can write like this and fail as they d ...more
Mediocre characterisation meant that the main characters were a mystery for most of the book. The only interesting tid bit in the whole novel was completely overshadowed by the terrible culture stereotype. I couldn't even get a grasp of what it was Ms Savage did exactly? Was she an extraordinary craftswoman? No just sewed 'little bits' of fabric toge ...more
Overall some lovely prose and a pleasant read.