Monday, 28 May 2012

The Fine Colour of Rust - P A O'Reilly

The Fine Colour of RustLoretta. Single mum since the husband walked out some time ago. Left with her two kids and no maintenance. But at least she's got a part time job, and friends, in the rural Australian town of Gunapan. There's Norm, the old guy down the road with a patch of skin cancer on his forehead, and there's Helen, a good friend to drink a glass of wine with when things get bad. Loretta is always campaigning to save the school, and again its under threat of closure. But it's hard to get many people to be enthusiastic, really, especially as there are whispers of a new country spa development just up the road from town, where jobs might be had......

Loretta is a heroine I loved. She's just like a lot of us. She's a bit overweight, she's none too hot in the housekeeping department, she loves her kids (even though she dreams of dumping them and riding off into the sunset on the back of a Harley Davidson), She wishes she could afford new clothes, and her car is falling apart around her as she ferries the kids back and fore to school.

Norm is a good friend, who is covered in the grime of many years of having a scrapyard in his own backyard. Loretta keeps a bar of soap especially for Norm to wash his hands when he pops over for a cup of tea, or supper. When Norm has the patch of skin cancer removed, it's the catalyst for many happenings, and when his son comes home from prison after 14 years inside, things change - but not as you might expect.
The book is set in Australia, but you will recognise the characters from anywhere in the world. It's a lovely read with a couple of laugh out loud moments and I romped through it.
[copy of my Amazon review]