February 11

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Eyrie by Tim Winton

Firstly, I have a confession.  I carried this book with me during my recent  travels – my copy of Eyrie has seen some pretty amazing places all from a cosy possie in the bottom of my carry bag – where it stayed.

I.Did.Not.Open.It.Once!  Not even on the various excruciatingly long plane rides.   I would glance at it longingly each day but truly, by the time I got to bed, I flaked out.  And during the day – well, you know the drill.  I was helter skelter all day, every day. I returned wracked with guilt and feeling ashamed. I had let Tim down (mind you, he did get a round the world trip of sorts, so let’s keep some perspective).

But when I started page 1, oh for the love of shiraz, I  devoured it.  Hail Tim Winton, he has yet again produced the goods folks. His writing is simply superb.  For those of us who love this guy, we know how haunting his stories can be.  He is a beautiful storyteller, poet and conjurer.  I am there, at each page, sitting with the flawed characters as they muddle along, my gut twisting  as they lurch onward…and downward!   They are as clear to me as my own family before me – the Australian-ness of it and the characters are vivid. His writing puts me smack-bang inside the story.

So on that point, I was left wondering is this story as powerful for non-Australians?  It was like hitching a ride on a well known bus because the scenery and  the images were all so familiar (not ALL the characters, I will add – certainly don’t have some of the less savoury ones in my life BUT I did wake up this morning and someone had jimmied our garage door open so perhaps they live close – buggers!).  If you aren’t Australian and you read this book, what did you think?

The story in essence is about a broken (but so likable) man living in WA who reconnects with a woman from his past and her grandson, a dear dear little boy Kai.   They are ‘two strangers leading a life beyond his experience  and into whose orbit he falls despite himself’.  And falls is right.

It is a seedy tale.  You will laugh, smirk, grimace, shake your head & sigh but you will read and read and read furiously until the bitter-sweet end and you will wish there was more.

And that is my 2 cents worth…..