May 02

Between a Wolf and A Dog by Georgia Blain

Bitter experience has proven to me never judge a book by the reviews – especially those  squeezed onto every spare bit of book real-estate, each one screaming ‘read this’.  More than once I answered those siren calls, and after some pretty big disappointments  I had decided – once and for all – my ego simply couldn’t take picking up these kinds of best sellers only to find I absolutely hated them.

BUT…..when one of the reviewers is Charlotte Wood (recent winner of the Stella Prize for The Natural Way of Things) and she says this book is the cat’s pyjamas (my words, not hers), well you join the orderly queue at Kinokuniya Books and you do exactly what Charlotte has instructed. You buy it.

Having just finished this pearler, I have another reason to love Charlotte because her taste in books and authors is top notch.  Georgia Blain has penned an absolute beauty with Between A Wolf and A Dog so I suggest you put your tools down right now and race out and grab a copy.

Not only is this book’s cover beautiful to me (I might actually frame it), the story inside is simply beautiful too  – although I hasten to add, tragically beautiful.

Told against the backdrop of a perpetually rainy Sydney, Blain explores the best and worst in all of us.  Described as a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive, Blain unravels the complexity of relationships, the hurts and the hopes and the downright savagery but strength of love.  Yet this is all done with the lightest of touches.

It is a literary feast.

The story is about Ester, her estranged husband Lawrence, her estranged sister April and Ester’s mother Hilary.  Ester wants to fall in love again after suffering the most profound of betrayals. Her ex-husband Lawrence is a mess – running from his mistakes yet adding more acts of foolishness onto the toppling pile.  April is what romantics may call a gypsy while  others may simply call her directionless. And Hilary is preparing to do something that will shake them all to their very core.

The writing is spectacular.  From the first line to the last, I was captivated. I want to get everything Blain has written because reading her words reminded me why I actually write this blog with Ms A.  Because there are books you want to tell everyone about, to share with friends and boss folk into buying.

Between a Wolf and a Dog is one such book.  So Charlotte, thank you for the tip.  I owe you.

And that is two cents worth.