The Idea of Perfection Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Karakarook, like many small Australian country towns, has been left behind - they highway doesn't run through town anymore, the bank will soon close its branch, and any industries that supported the town have long gone. Many in the town are pinning their hopes on 'Heritage', which gives a reason for one half of the city partnership, Harley, to be there. She has come from Sydney to organise a museum. She also becomes involved in the fight over another heritage flash point - the old Bent Bridge.
Bent Bridge is the reason for the other city person to be in town. Douglas is the engineer tasked with organising the replacement of the bridge. Harley and Douglas have their stories told alternately with that of a third - Felicity, the flighty wife of the bank manager. All three are outsiders - not just in the sense that they have arrived in Karakarook from elsewhere, but they also don't quite belong in the society in which they live. Also, all three have been deeply marked by their backgrounds - Harley forever trying to live up to the expectations of her famous creative family; Douglas living in the shadow of a war hero father he never met; and Felicity trying to forget her humble background while clinging to youthful beauty. Grenville is a skilful enough writer to allude to the importance of these details, while not overburdening the reader with too much character history.Read more ›
However, there were certain aspects to the book that I found annoying - in particular her overuse of italics. Also, the plotline wasn't well developed. She sets us up for a big confrontation over the tearing down of a wooden bridge, but whimps out. She also didn't explore the growing rapport of the main characters in a way that convinced me that they could actually be falling in love. And the secondary plot line, about a bored, vain housewife and the butcher, while amusing, seemed kind of pointless. Having said that, there is no question that Grenville is brilliant at drawing vivid, dinstinctive characters.
I would recommend this book for anyone wishing to get an insight into small town Australian life.
Most recent customer reviews
There are some very good scenes in this novel, touching and funny, but it feels overall like a hodgepodge that won't come together. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2002
Although romance is part of the book's plot, _The Idea of Perfection_ is far from being a jumped-up romance novel. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2002 by Laughingrat