This collection of short stories resonates with the knowledge of life. The metaphor of art is a good one to apply here, for these are stories experienced and built on visions of both the large Turner-esque seas and the small still ponds beloved and immortalised by Monet.
The fact is that like all art, the author is actually telling us the truth – through their own lens perhaps, but it is a form of reality. The core of each story is true but what a delightful artifice and generous framing of sly asides and what a parade, a frieze of madcap caricatures! These are stories drawn from a life lived in Europe and settled in Australia. They are told in a strong voice accented by a fuller and more evolved understanding of the possibilities of language.
Staying with the metaphor of the art world, the subject matter carries readers through rooms and spaces like a gallery; where life lessons and tales are whispered and unfolded. The narrator’s experience forged in the crucible of a long life of travel, of being an outsider and of that almost dinosaur characteristic – that fashionable in purchase but often foreign in undertaking, grail like pursuit of knowledge; the pastime of reading stories in books.