Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Dirt Music - Tim Winton

As usual, before I write about a book I have enjoyed, I look at Amazon.  I don't need to read the 4 and 5 stars, they liked it, so I move straight down to the 1 stars, for an idea of why the reviewer didn't like it.  "Didn't like the non-use of speech marks" is an OK comment which I understand entirely although it never worries me.  But "no plot"?  That's an odd one, as there certainly is one in this book!

Georgie is 40, an ex-nurse, living with a successful commercial fisherman and his two sons in a small, rich town on the West coast of Australia.  Why?  Well, somehow that's where she ended up.  It isn't a love match - it is certainly driving her to drink.  She spends hours at night drinking vodka and surfing the net.  One night she sees someone down on the beach, and steps out to investigate, finding a truck and a friendly dog, which, it turns out, belong to a poacher - Luther Fox.  They meet, sex rears its ugly head, and well..... life takes a turn in the road for both of them.  At the same time, Georgie's mother dies, and on a trip to Perth for the funeral, she finds that none of her 3 sisters is really happy.  should she look for real happiness? 

Then things get worse, much worse.  Little secrets are starting to come out of the woodwork, and what seemed like a tale of unhappy families all round, now turns into a mystery and a thriller.  When Fox disappears, Georgie takes the decision to stick with Jim and get on with her own life....but it may not work out that way.

I must say I like Tim Winton.  Cloudstreet was the first of his I read, and so far it's the one I loved the best.  But Dirt Music comes a very close second.  If I say it's a love story, don't get me wrong.  It is, but it's about all sorts of love.  Love of parents long gone, love of siblings, love of yourself and love of strangers.  And, I think, from Winton, a love of his own country, Australia.