Sunday, 14 August 2016

Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser

“Rome, like paradise, would gather her in”.

Lying on a beach chair on the idyllic island of Kerkyra with a button to attract the attention of the wait staff is probably the most decadent and wonderful way to lose yourself in a book about travel. Have I made you jealous yet? Fear not, I also spent plenty of time lodged firmly in an economy size aeroplane seat devouring the  same pages.

Winner of the 2013 Miles Franklin award, this novel has been sitting in my must read pile for quite some time and I admit my own travels have gotten in the way of me reviewing it. It involves an interesting exploration of travel through the divergent stories of its cast of characters, Laura a travel writer who has escaped from Sydney and Ravi, who is fleeing the torment of his murdered wife and child in Sri Lanka. Whereas other novels might have brought these two together in a romantic context they exist as a strange convergence of cultures, orbiting the same places, drawn together by their work and yet always apart through their very different perception of the world through which they travel.

Do not expect an upbeat ending; instead enjoy the journey and commentary.

 5 out of 5 times a thick novel is what will get you through a long haul flight.

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