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Conditions Of Faith

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  433 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Award-winning author Alex Miller uses a sensitive touch to explore deep issues of the mind, heart, and spirit in Conditions of Faith, a thoughtful novel about a young Australian woman in the 1920s who longs to discover her purpose for living. After finishing school, 24-year-old Emily Stanton's life is adrift. When Georges Elder, representing his Parisian firm, comes to Mel ...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published 2000 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  433 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Norah
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Debbie Robson
Shelves: novels, best-ever
Really enjoyed this book - quite un-put-downable! Award-winning author Alex Miller uses a sensitive touch to explore deep issues of the mind, heart, and spirit in Conditions of Faith, a thoughtful novel about a young Australian woman in the 1920s who longs to discover her purpose for living. After finishing school, 24-year-old Emily Stanton's life is adrift. When Georges Elder, representing his Parisian firm, comes to Melbourne to consult with Emily's father about building a bridge in Sydney Har ...more
Carinya Kappler
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Conditions of Faith” is a beautifully crafted narrative set in the 1920s in Australia, Europe and sultry mysterious North Africa. Although the story itself is fascinating, well researched, technically convincing, romantic and inviting, I believe it is merely the vehicle driving a much more formidable social and political message.
Within the varied confines of many cultures and both genders lie the boundaries (often unspoken) of ambition, family and racial loyalty, duty and self love.
This book co
...more
Edward
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why are we here? What is our purpose? What do we want to accomplish? These are the questions that a 25 year old woman from Melbourne in Australia tackles in 1923. They are the same questions that we think about today. She has the same complications in her life that many have today. It is a very good novel written really well addressing issues of life. The period in which it is written is interesting and most of it takes place in Paris after the young woman leaves Melbourne. It is her visit to Tu ...more
Chiuho
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story very much. It presents the complication, doubts and emotions, struggles of life with remarkable courages. I think it's well crafted and beautiful written. LIfe goes on, after the book has been closed, the story lingers. ...more
Happy
May 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading Alex Miller's work and this was no different. It was excellent. Emily, the main character annoyed me as most of Alex's females leading ladies do, always a good sign (for me) of a great story. ...more
SWC
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose the author based upon a review I read for a book by Steven Carroll. Both are Australian. I found that I was confused on how the meeting between Emily and the priest had an affect as the story continued to develop. An entertaining story which contained a diverse range of topics.
Liz
Jan 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
put-upon white woman explores sexuality, becomes messiah figure to exotic people, saves exotic culture
Laura Holland
Pretty dark novel. I really thought the main characters were very self-centered so I had a hard time liking them. It's all about doing what you want, not what's best for another. ...more
Theresa
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a 2.5 star book for me. It raised interesting questions, but was tedious in places, a little bit boring overall, and I couldn't really relate to any of the characters. ...more
Gay Harding
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Alex Miller’s writing. Again he delivered a story with rich characters and a plot and locations that transported me...I was there observing and living with Emily and George and experiencing their story fraught with the problems that marriage can bring between a restless young woman expected to adhere to the conventions of motherhood and a husband 10 years her senior who wants his wife to be happy but finds it hard to understand her drive for independence.
Stef
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my third read of CoF within a span of 1,5 years and once again I couldn't put this book down. The writing is so beautifully prosaic, it pulls you into the story from page 1. Emily is so very relatable in her quest to find herself while trying to navigate the pressures society puts upon her, it's always a joy to reconnect with her. ...more
Lea Hadley
The story was OK. It was very slow moving and written with a lot unsaid. Emily was a women in the 1920’s who did not want to slot into the role of wife, mother, etc. She wanted to follow her interest and study -archeology. The story takes place in France and Tunisia. The story unfolded so slowly, with interest, but no pull for me to read with passion. A book I could easily put down.
Jo :: The Country Book Nerd
I listened to the abridged audio version so it was choppy and at time didn’t make a lot of sense. I would have rather an unabridged version but I couldn’t find one. Reading the book would have been better.
Penny
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful examination of the choices women make between domestic duties and ambition. I loved reliving the thrill of being a young woman embarking on a great overseas adventure. The little apartment in Paris was so brilliantly described I feel like I've been there. ...more
Sue
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. A novel that explores the issues of changing expectations, motherhood and what it can mean. Societal changes and how they can impact on our actions and our outcomes and what freedom can cost.
Noel
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bialey
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. Another captivating novel by Alex Miller.
Glen Baum
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of Alex Miller, loved it.
S
Nov 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Plodding, pointless, waste of time.
John Agnew
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took me a while to get into it, but great writing and a distinctive dilemma.
Penny
Wonderful examination of the choices women face between domestic duty and ambition/passion. I loved reliving the thrill of being a young woman leaving Australia for an exotic overseas adventure.
Strivetoengage
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I posted my review of this book on my blog: https://strivetoengage.wordpress.com/... ...more
Maureen Mathews
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely unsettling and disturbing. The narrator's horrible attempt at a French, Scottish, and Arab accent didn't help. I might have to reread it sometime. ...more
Theresa
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Emily Stanton Elder who has made a hasty marriage to Georges Elder, participated in an act of adultery and finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy. It starts in Australia and moves to Paris and Tunisia during the 1920s.

Emily’s father is an engineer with high hopes for his daughter, academically. Much to his chagrin, Emily agrees to marry Georges Elder, an engineer who dreams of designing the Sydney Harbor bridge rather than continuing her studies in history.

Emily leaves her
...more
Sharon Albanese
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its always interesting to read the other reviews on this site before or during a book. This book certainly provoked some quite emotive responses, and having just finished it, I can understand why. Any instance where a woman is willing to give up family in the pursuit of "finding herself" is bound to create controversy. However I still found I understood the heroine's motives, even though I don't condone them and certainly could never imagine myself doing the same thing. Her actions are even more ...more
Louisa
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly wonderful writing. This is a story that reveals the unique landscapes and cultures of three very different but none-the-less beautiful cities. But it isn't just about land and culture, it is about love in its many forms and also the monumental social challenges that women faced not all that long ago. If you want a brilliant story as well as a rich and satisfying language experience then this is a must read. ...more
Katherine
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
beautifully descriptive writing of an author new to me. lots of issues for discussion in a book group. issues of parenting & marriage, social constraints of 1920s australia, france & tunisia on both women & men, feminism & more. managed to include an impromptu sexual encounter with a priest in the 1920s without any of us discounting the whole plot.....
bridget trinkaus
follow your own heart. inspiring.
i like the latin from the priests. i actually knew a lot of the words and understood them.
Sarah Jean
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
I couldn't empathise with the heroine of this story and the other characters seemed very two-dimensional. The most vivid aspect of the book for me was the weather. Not my cup of tea I guess! ...more
Velvetink
Aug 26, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Found at a cake stall. 1 of 7 books for $5 total!.
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Alex Miller is one of Australia's best-loved writers, and winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012.

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fi
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