Friday, March 22, 2013

BOOK: The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville

The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville, 400 pages

Orange Prize Winner 20014; Australian Author Challenge

Two awkward middle aged professionals meet in a small town in Australia and attempt to find love.

Or rather, love finds them. It's not as sweetly romantic sounding as that one line; the engineer who loves concrete and the museum curator are more likely on a collision course. Each is brought to town to deal with the local old bridge. One to fix it (with concrete!) and the other to possibly preserve it. Each is so entirely awkward within their own skin, and concerned about how they fit in amongst the rest of the people (whom they see as well-adjusted) that it is amazing they look up and out enough to actually meet.

The story is very slow, especially the first half. I enjoyed the second half much more. Each of the characters spends lots of time in their head, going over past love affairs and their deficiencies. But there is someone for everyone, if they can just get out of their own heads long enough to notice that other person.