Socrates said "An unexamined life is not worth living." But, I think there can be two much examination. The two main characters in this novel examine and question and rethink every movement, expression, and comment they make before they are finished making it. So much so that they are practically paralyzed into inaction. They refuse to believe that their flawed appearances and characters can be attractive to anyone, professionally, socially or romantically. Despite this, they revel in making skewered quilts, saving broken bridges, and knowing that what people really want to see in museums is the humdrum stuff no one thought to keep. Contrasting with their imperfection is the story of an outwardly perfect beauty who will risk no expression or movement to mar that beauty, but cares nothing for her inner life or relationships. I enjoyed this book and particularly liked the portrayal of the perfect character and her attempts to retain her beauty because I have a good friend who is like that (although I make no assumptions or comments on her morals). Oh, and the main character better have taken that dog back with her to Sydney (Brisbane?).